Educators might say too much TV is bad for kids, but architect Costas Machlouzarides disagreed when designing the The Calhoun School Learning Center at 433 West End Avenue at West 81st Street in 1975: he provided two giant picture windows shaped like television screens on each exposed side. Just about every TV screen in existence was shaped like this in 1975, but today rectangular flat screens are the norm.
Founded in 1896 by Laura Jacobi in a brownstone on West 80th Street, the school serves pre-K through 12th-grade students, though only grades 2 through 12 are located in the West End Avenue building. Calhoun has always been a progressive school featuring education with an emphasis on community involvement and civil rights. In 1916, Jacobi hired journalist and educator Mary Edwards Calhoun as headmistress, and the Jacobi School was renamed for her in 1924. After several decades as a girls’ school, Calhoun graduated its first coed class the same year its new building opened. In 2004, five additional floors were added to the “television” base.