Deveaux School Historic District
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
N 43° 07.237 W 079° 03.540
17T E 657899 N 4776037
Quick Description: The Deveaux School in Niagara Falls was formerly a boys boarding school and prep school.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 1/5/2007 9:23:36 PM
Waymark Code: WM13T8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 120

Long Description:
The Deveaux School functioned as a charitable institution for orphaned and impoverished boys, and also as a boys boarding school. It was founded and endowed by Judge Samuel DeVeaux, a Niagara Falls pioneer and leading citizen. His will stated that it was to be dedicated to the education of destitute and orphan boys, and DeVeaux left $154,432 in personal property and acres of real estate to pay for the school buildings. The site chosen for the school was high over the Great Whirlpool in the Niagara River on part of DeVeaux's property.

Van Rensselaer Hall, built in 1855-57 and named after Rev. Dr. Maunsell Van Rensselaer, the first president of the school, was the school's first building and was originally referred to as "the college edifice". It was designed by Buffalo architect C.N. Otis. The kitchen, dining room, pantries, laundry, and bathrooms were on the ground floor. The schoolrooms, chapel, hospital, library, and president's rooms occupied the second floor, and the third floor had dormitory space for about 25 boys. Additional dorms and play room was in the attic. The building was expanded in 1866 to add a new kitchen, chapel and study hall. This expansion was later named Patterson Hall after the second president of the school Rev. Dr. George H. Patterson.

The construction of Munro Hall in 1888 was an indication of expansion and lavish spending at Deveaux School. This new Gothic inspired building cost $18,000 and was attached to Patterson Hall. Munro's major feature was a new and bigger chapel which occupied the entire second floor. "Edgewood", the Chaplin's house, also dates to this era of expansion and was located at the southeast of the complex.

For the next 50 years, the DeVeaux School continued as a boys prep school. A number of additional buildings not included in the historic district were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, after which the school still could not compete in the shrinking prep school market, and in 1971 it closed. One year later it reopened as a school for children with learning disabilities.

In 1989, Van Rensselaer Hall, Patterson Hall, Munro Hall, "Edgewood", and the barn were all demolished. Only the Shop remains from the original school campus. In 2000, New York State purchased the property in order to turn it into DeVeaux Woods State Park. The remaining buildings from the early 1900s (not included in the national register) are still not used to date and are falling into disrepair.
Street address:
2900 Lewiston Rd
Niagara Falls, NY United States

County / Borough / Parish: Niagara

Year listed: 1974

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event

Periods of significance: 1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924

Historic function: Religion: Church Related Residence, Church School

Current function: State Park

Privately owned?: no

Season start / Season finish: From: 1/1/2007 To: 12/31/2007

Hours of operation: From: 8:00 AM To: 8:00 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 2: [Web Link]

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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