The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

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Poly Acquires New Property


Poly’s infrastructure will be undergoing yet another major change. The school has acquired 53 Prospect Park West in Park Slope (the neighboring building of Poly’s Lower School), according to an email delivered to the entire Poly community on November 21 from Board of Trustees member Thomas Iannelli, the Chairperson of the Building and Grounds Committee. The property is set to be a major expansion milestone for the school since the Lower School (which houses students in nursery through grade four) was founded in 1995 after purchasing the historic Hulbert mansion at 50 Prospect Park West, which was formerly the site of the Woodward Park School. 

The recently-acquired landmark building, according to Iannelli’s email, is a four-story Neo-Jacobean building that “features abundant interior space, the largest private garden in Brooklyn, and stunning original Gilded Age architecture.” In an article from the New York Times, it was reported that the building first went on the market for roughly $30 million in 2021. The house was first built in 1901 and designed by architect William B. Tubby for William H. Childs, who, according to the Times, was “a financier, a supporter of Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, and a founder of the Bon Ami cleaning products company.” 

Since 1947, the building has served as the home for the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture (BSEC), which, according to its website, is a nonprofit, Brooklyn humanist congregation and an “open society, welcoming of diverse families and individuals of all backgrounds,” founded in 1907 to create a supportive community. In the past, as noted by the Times, the property has been utilized as somewhat of a meeting house, an umbrella for various programs, and a community center in which the society would rent out the building for weddings, bar mitzvahs, concerts, and other events. 

According to Iannelli’s email, “Poly was able to obtain debt financing at a historically low interest rate, and the acquisition will not affect the School’s operating budgets, nor reduce funds available for financial aid, teacher and staff salaries, or maintenance.” After possessing the building for nearly 76 years, the BSEC has moved to the newly renovated space at 6 Garfield Place, Park Slope, where their work will continue. 

“Acquiring such a large and beautiful property adjoining the existing Lower School is consistent with Poly’s strategic planning process and sets us on a path to realizing tremendous value for our institution. We are grateful to the BSEC for their stewardship of this historical Brooklyn landmark and wish them all the best in the future,” wrote Iannelli and the board. 

 As the school continues to look forward to the “continued growth and success” that such a new acquisition brings, Iannelli concluded in his email: “We are eager to share regular updates about the property’s progress and invite you to contribute your thoughts on how we can best leverage this remarkable asset for the benefit of the Poly Prep community and all of Brooklyn.” 

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About the Contributor
Jordan Millar
Jordan Millar, Editor-in-Chief

Jordan Millar is the current Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Polygon and a senior. She began writing for the Polygon during her freshman year as a staff writer, served as the News Editor during her sophomore year, and the Co-Managing Editor during her junior year. Her favorite pieces to write are in-depth news stories and profiles. Outside of the Polygon, Jordan works as a professional composer and writes music for numerous top orchestras and ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Little Orchestra Society, New World Symphony, and more; she has been composing since she was nine and participates in several music composition programs across the city. When she’s not writing articles or composing music, Jordan enjoys drawing, reading, and shopping! 

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