P. S. 76

P.S. 76 was constructed in 1888, a year after the Town of New Lots was annexed by the City of Brooklyn. The land was purchased for $6,000 from Wolcott and Mary Pitkin; Wolcott I believe was a son of John R. Pitkin. The school closed in 1979 but the building remained standing for years, finally demolished in 1996. A park occupies the site today.

Public School No.76 Wyona Street near Fulton
Maker: Wm. Fick Dated: 1910 Status: Own(BG)

Located on the west side of Wyona Street just south of Jamaica Avenue, it was referred to as the "Wyona School" before receiving the P.S.76 designation. Frank B. Stevens, right, served as the first principal.
Public School No.76 class, 1903
It appears this image was printed in reverse from the negative. I believe the girl marked with 'x' was Edna Carver, whose name appears on the reverse. At the turn of the century most "primary" schools ended around the 6th grade; for a time P.S. 76 served as the area school students would attend to continue their education to advance to high school. The principal at this time was Alonzo Ashmun.
Wyona St., showing P.S 76 and Christ Evangelical Reform Church
maker: Kraus Dated: 1910 status: Own (RG)
If you have ever wondered why the early schools were built with such high ceilings and tall windows, consider the 1925 headline on the right - PS 76 did not have electric lights until then! The original school building was built without a gym, an auditorium, or even bathrooms for the teachers. Graduation that year was held at the Warwick Theatre.
P.S. 76
Joann Montgomery sent in this class shot from 1944. Her aunt, Rose Signorello, is in the 3rd row 4th from the right. Tim O' Reilly sent me the 1941 tax photo of the schoolyard in the rear. In the 1925 article describing the state of the school, the playground area seen here was an unpaved, unkept dirt lot.
P.S. 76 memories, 1940s
Wes Kent shared some memories of the school from the 1940s:
"Attended PS 76 on Wyona Street. It was a grand old structure with wide board floors, enormous windows and high ceilings. I recently learned that the large windows were there to provide extra light to supplement the original gas lighting. There were gas light fixtures all around the building when I attended classes, but they were not used as electric lighting had been installed.
We often had new classmates who immigrated from Europe. There was Sammy Guineri (sp?) who came to our first grade class. On the first day he was there he sat down to lunch and proceeded to peel his orange with a large switch blade knife. Something you would normally do coming from a rural area in Italy. Like, how else would you peel an orange? Teachers freaked and Sammy was bewildered. I often wonder where he is and what he doing.
Our first grade teacher was a very short woman with a tight hair knot. I believe her name was Miss Taylor. If we miss behaved she would hang us by the back of our shirt collars, in the clothes closet as punishment. You didn't normally take a second chance on crossing her. She was a very good teacher and we learned the alpha bet and the basics as first graders."
P.S. 76, 1946
Karen (Baney) Pineda supplied some P.S. 76 memorabilia courtesy of her mother, Camille Bono, who attended in the 1940s. The photo on the left is from the autograph book, which I suspect was taken in the 1930s. On the right, a shot of the Honors Thrift Class, I assume shot by the East New York Savings Bank. I left the full picture which shows the classic wooden desks and tall windows of those early school buildings.
P.S. 76, 1946
Also from Karen, her mother's 1946 diploma and graduating class pic.The names were on the reverse: Joan Passalaqua, Mary Spolarich, Howard Petry, Emily Heiser, Adrianne Panzer, William Hyatt, Carmine Pizzano, Gloria Cottone, Gladys Peltz, Jack Torrfield, Albert Leone, Patricia Bongirne, Camille Bono, Alfred Greco, Natalie Leavy, Bernard Bilello, George Darren, Thomas Fiorello, Grace Del Casino, Pauline Zafanrano, Angelo Bordino, Joan Smith, Ruth Levine, John Arcari, Salvatore Pernazo, Eli Spiegil, Dominick La Penna, Joseph Passentino, Robert Pesce, Randolph Rostin, Tony Montalbano, Morton Milstein, Mrs. Sullivan, Arnold Max, Anthony Cangelosi.
P.S. 76 Class 3-1 (1950) and class 4-1 (1951)
Thanks to Jack Auld for these East New York Savings Bank Honor Thrift Class photos. Marilyn Scarl recalls the principal was Miss Spitznogle.
P.S. 76 Class 6-2 1952
May Festival, P.S. 76 1959
Elise (Avella) Feiner sends in these 1959 pix taken in the schoolyard. She confesses her and John Morgan were Queen and King of the festival. In the picture on the left, that is the rear of Christ Evangelical in the background.
Class Pictures, 1954 and 1956
Thanks to James Celovsky for the East New York Savings Bank class pictures.
Class Picture, 1958
Thanks to James Celovsky for the East New York Savings Bank class pictures.
P.S. 76 Kindergarten, 1970
Rich Nowak sent this picture of his 1970 kindergarten class with an interesting anecdote; he recalls the class was held in the Temple Sinai schoolbuilding around the corner.
P.S. 76 Class 2-3, 1976
Tyrone Marquez (top row, 4th from left) sent in his 1976 class picture. Tyrone recalls he was moved to P.S. 290 for the 5th grade which synchs with our research showing the school closed in 1979.
These update shots supplied by Neil Sullivan show the block and the site after the building was demolished. A park now occupies this location.