POLY PREP, Bay Ridge

by Kevin Walsh

POLY Prep Country Day School has had its distinctive Georgian campus on 7th Avenue and 92nd Street since 1916. Its four-sided clock tower is a Bay Ridge landmark and can be seen from most points in the Fort Hamilton area. Other than the occasional chicken scratching in a front yard (Bay Ridge still held on to shards of its former rurality when I was a kid) the only chickens or ducks I ever saw outside of a petting zoo were in the Poly Prep grounds on 92nd Street, and the fowl can still be found there.

Though there’s a Parrott Place and a Poly Place in Bay Ridge, neither have anything to do with the colorful birds with the big claws and beaks — Poly Place is named for Poly Prep. The wedding cake-white, 4-sided clock tower of what used to be called the Polytechnic Institute but is now Poly Prep Country Day School  on 7th Avenue between 92nd Street and Poly Place can be seen from far and wide in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. Poly Prep, a private school for students from kindergarten through high school, was instituted on downtown Livingston Street in 1854 and was offered the present plot by Dyker Meadow Golf Club. In 1916, the school became the Poly Prep Country Day School, and the familiar clock tower, visible from all over southern Bay Ridge, was completed in 1917. Poly became fully co-ed in 1979. Alumni include pro basketball’s Joachim Noah, TV’s Calvert De Forest (Larry “Bud” Melman), famed record producer Richard Perry and turn of the 20th Century mayor Seth Low.

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Zalman Lev September 9, 2022 - 6:59 am

While you explain what Poly Place was named after, you omitted the same for Parrott Place. Parrott Place was named in homage to Robert Parker Parrot, armament inventor, It is among the military themed streets in the Fort Hamilton vicinity..

Zalman Lev September 10, 2022 - 8:00 am

Great. Thanks.

Ronald Clate September 9, 2022 - 7:04 am

Excellent talk about bath beach brooklyn with runs from 14th Avenue to 18th Ave identity is lost now its merged into bensonhurst

DDDDDuane September 12, 2022 - 12:55 am

Shouldn’t Bath Beach be south of 86th st?

Peter September 9, 2022 - 3:09 pm

So … why ARE parrots stereotypically called Polly?

Kevin Walsh September 9, 2022 - 11:34 pm Reply
DDDDDuane September 12, 2022 - 12:53 am

The ducks and geese near the pond on 92nd st that people brought their small kids to look at and feed for decades were eradicated by Poly Prep about 2 years ago.
They had to have either hired an exterminator to shoot them with an air rifle or they were (about 150 of them) poisoned… .
I asked one of the maintenance guys outside one day (about a year ago) what happened to them and he bull sh!tted me in spanglish that he didn’t know…

Kevin Walsh September 12, 2022 - 7:30 am

Sorry to hear that.

therealguyfaux September 12, 2022 - 11:48 am

It may have to do with being “avian flu carriers”– remember, two years ago was the height of the pandemic panic. It may have been someone’s misguided belief that they could be Covid-19 carriers as well.

Bill Tweeddale October 4, 2022 - 7:32 am

My uncle want me to go to Poly Prep back in the 60’s. He had some pull and the money to pay for it, I put my foot down and went to New Utrecht instead.Imagine the embarrassment of walking around my Borough Park neighborhood in a Poly Prep jacket! Yech…


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