Public School 721 Manhattan

Originally constructed in 1912, PS 721 is comprised of solid load-bearing masonry walls with steel floor beams. Water infiltration has caused severe deterioration of the walls, flooring, and ceiling throughout the majority of the school’s cellar.

PS 721 Manhattan is five stories plus a cellar totaling approximately 113,554 square feet. This H-plan building is located in the historic West Village of Manhattan and is styled in a simplified gothic manner. As with many buildings this age, it lacked elements that allowed all users to utilize the building regardless of ability. This accessibility campaign was the third phase of repair work we conducted at the school. The previous two campaigns sought to eliminate water infiltration at the basement, exterior walls, and roof.

Not only did PS 721M not have an elevator, but there was no area for rescue assistance nor were any of the restrooms accessible as per the New York City Building Code. In addition, the existing auditorium did not provide accessible access to the stage or wheelchair locations within the general seating. Our design sought to provide an elevator and accessible restrooms in addition to resolving the other accessibility concerns. The proposed scope of work included a full re-design of the auditorium space. Great care was taken to implement these changes without affecting the historic nature of the building.

The two new stair bulkheads and elevator penthouse are located at the sides of the building so not to be easily visible from the street. All new interior work was to match the character of the exiting finishes and style.

Architectural Staff
Mabruk Adnan
Ger Brennan
Kelly Greenfield
Timothy Jones
Jake LaChapelle
Bruce G. Nelligan
Thomas Pentoney
Jonathan Pietro
Shiori Sasaki
Annslee Stevenson
Elizabeth Suarez
Monet Walker
Emily Wetherbee



Project Team

Client
New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA)

Structural Engineer
Dewberry

Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineer
NSR Consulting

Cost Estimating
Accu-Cost Construction Consultants

General Contractor
EMB Contracting Corp.