History of P.S. 47



1865 Building – P.S. 47 1908

In 1906, New York boasted of having three schools for the Deaf.  All were residential and all required payment.  However, a group of parents wanted their children to return home daily and these parents protested at City Hall, braving a storm. They pled with Mayor George Brinton McCelan to form a public day school for Deaf students.  The Board of Education assigned two educators to study this concept, and then approved money for the renovation and repair of a warehouse at 225 East 23rd Street.

The 1865 warehouse was originally Peter Stuyvesant High School, and then became P.S. 40 before becoming P.S. 47 School for the Deaf in 1908. With 47 Deaf students, the building had such poor lighting and accommodations, but the school made do with what it had. Behind the school was a horse stable, and in between the buildings was a playground. Principal Carrie Wallace Kearns wrote to the Board of Education many times requesting a new building.



Finally in 1925, the horse stable on 24th Street was torn down to make way for a new school building.  The students and staff moved to this new building, and in 1926, watched as the 1865 building was torn down and rebuilt. Upon completion, the students happily moved back to that side, with a hallway connecting both buildings. An elevator was installed in the hallway.