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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