Built in 1871, it was modeled on Boston’s Shurtleff Grammar School by Albany architects, Edward Ogden and Frank P. Wright. It was the city’s first modern, scientifically planned school building (McEneny 2008). The first school in Albany based on this Boston model; individual classrooms for different ages. The school was destroyed by fire in the mid 1980s and the lot currently remains empty.
A 1928 National Urban League (NUL) survey stated there were 261 African American children in Albany schools. School 15 had 45 of them. It was the most diverse school with African Americans, Polish, Jewish, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Gypsy and native-born whites representing the South End community (Lemak 2008)