HERMAN RIDDER JUNIOR HIGH, Crotona Park

by Kevin Walsh

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

7 comments

Anonymous October 4, 2018 - 9:39 pm

I lived in the Bronx until I was 10 went to ps 61 and then moved to Mich Used to walk by going to Dover theatre. very enameled with the bldg wasn’t able to go Just ran across this surfing Sorry I missed going

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Lester Asch January 24, 2019 - 12:11 am

Attended PS 67 ( 1951-1958) and then Herman Ridder (1958- 1960) in the SP music class. The music classroom was at the top of the tower above the main entrance on the corner. The store visible at the lower right corner was a Kosher deli.

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Milton anapol April 27, 2019 - 12:04 pm

I attended Herman ridder 1958thru 1961 I was in lower tower music class Mr Gerard was home room teacher and Mr Rabin was my music teacher I played clarinet then Alto sax finally tenor sax

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Robert March 15, 2020 - 6:39 am

I also attended the JHS with Milton Anapol and played the bassoon in music class. Milton if you see this call me again I don’t have any current numbers for you.

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David Greenberger March 8, 2019 - 7:58 pm

Graduated JHS 98 in 1955. A most excellent school with a political city governmental structure run by elected students. It had a court system and many governmental agencies which prepared students for the electoral system and running a city government. Many of the students went into government- perhaps because of the emphasis on the school political precepts. The school had an excellent performing arts program (drama and music) a rapid advancement program for those academically gifted, a excellent art program and an Industrial Arts program which taught the basic hands on skills necessary for life. The sciences were also stressed as well as keyboarding. The school was very disciplined and competitive. The staff was extremely dedicated.

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Solomon P. Friedman June 11, 2020 - 11:39 am

I entered Ridder in September 1943 after graduating from PS 61, another great school. I was in a Rapid Advance class taught by outstanding teachers and attended by bright, motivated students who went on to lead successful lives. Mr. Sidney Okun was our wounderful journalism teacher and faculty advisor to the school newspaper, The Ridder News, of which I became the Co-Editor in Chief. Thereafter, I was elected Mayor of the school, which had a student government. Ultimately, I became a lawyer and have had a very satisfying life which, to a great extent, I attribute to the influence of Herman Ridder JHS.

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KAREN J DOWDALL July 10, 2020 - 1:49 pm

My Mother attended Herman Ridder and graduated in 1936. I have lapel pin with that date on it. Hate for it to go in the garbage. Do you think the shcool would like this memorabilia? Do not know who to get in touch with?
Ideas? can email me at kjdowdall@gmail.com Serious replies only please.

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