Martin Luther King Jr. High School

122 Amsterdam Avenue

Opened: 1969

Architects: Frost and Associates

The street level of this building again reflects the aesthetic (and fear) of its time by presenting a brick wall protecting (and isolating) the building from its surroundings and giving it a cold fortress appearance despite the incorporation of bright colors in the interior design. The exterior is a glass curtain wall surrounding dreary classrooms that have no access to natural light. Add in the dysfunctional bureaucracy of the New York public school system and social issues from the housing projects next door and you have a building that isn't terribly conducive to educational excellence.

Perhaps the most desirable aspect of the whole mess is a cubist monument to the slain civil rights leader on the corner of 66th Street and Amsterdam. Although the metal has the appearance of rusted cast iron, it is actually made of Cor-ten steel - an alloy that gives a rusted appearance but remains stable and uncorroded.

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Martin Luther King Jr. High School
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65th Street wall
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65th Street wall
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Lincoln Towers behind the front plaza
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Front sign
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Welcoming day for new teachers
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New teachers taking a break in the front plaza
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MLK Monument

Next: 150 Amsterdam Avenue