PS 89 X was designed by Walter C. Martin and constructed in 1927. Located in the Baychester neighborhood of the East Bronx, this school is an early example of the “M-Type” school building typology widely used from 1929-1942. The building underwent several additions in 1929 and 1938 and at present is 98,000 sq ft with four stories and serves a student population of approximately 1,220 students.
The “M-Type” style of PS 89 X, along with over 120 similarly designed schools, represents Martin’s dedication to continuing the work of his predecessor, former Superintendent of Buildings, William Gompert. The Type-M plan was developed by Gompert and was derived from the “Type-E” plan, C.B.J. Snyder’s final contribution to urban school design and construction. The City’s rapid population growth and prosperous economy during the 1920s prompted Gompert to develop this modified plan. The style was noted for its systematic expandability, an innovation first explored with Type-E buildings. This layout anticipated the growth of the school population with space for the addition of two wings.
The New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) conducted several major projects at PS 89 X in recent years. These include window replacement and exterior masonry work in 1999 and a full exterior modernization in 2002. The modernization restored roofs, parapets, and exterior masonry. Despite the repair campaigns carried out at PS 89 X, water-infiltration continued to cause damage throughout the building interior, most significantly along the eastern and northern facades. Cracking and deterioration of the face brick masonry and terracotta cornice, as well as rusting lintels, were apparent throughout.
The deterioration of the cornice became so severe that it caused a large piece of terracotta to fall from the south-east corner of the building. Sidewalk sheds were erected immediately and a new campaign and investigation were launched.