HERMAN RIDDER JUNIOR HIGH, Crotona Park

This is a junior high school?

Intermediate School 98, Herman Ridder Junior High, 1619 Boston Road at East 173rd Street, is a massive stone fortress for learning built from 1929 to 1931 by architect Walter C. Martin in the then-new Art Deco style, which he melded into the Beaux Arts stylings of the previous decades. It has always been a junior high. When up close, look for sculptures of books and lamps of knowledge; when riding north on the #2 train, gape at it with awe as it goes by.

Its namesake (1851-1915) was a successful magazine and newspaper publisher; he ran into trouble at the start of WWI because of pro-German sentiment in the pages of one of his publications, New Yorker Staats-Zeitung; he also published The Journal of Commerce, which I recall from my days working at the Brooklyn Business Library between 1978 and 1981. The business was carried on by his son Victor Ridder; in 1974, Ridder Publications merged with Knight Newspapers to become Knight-Ridder, the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States until its sale to the McClatchy Company in 2006.

8/8/16


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