An integral part of Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Square Historic District, Friends Seminary has been dealing with growing pains for decades, with an increasing number of kindergarten-through-12th-grade students sharing tight quarters in a disparate group of 19th- and 20th-century buildings. Now the campus has room to breathe, due to a meticulous renovation and expansion by Kliment Halsband Architect (KHA), completed last September, that treads gently on the old-world charm of its setting.
Bordered on the east by the verdant square, the independent Quaker day school, founded in 1786, still occupies one of three landmarked masonry buildings, reminiscent of Federal and Greek Revival styles, that the Society of Friends built here in 1860. (A meetinghouse and administrative building, also remain in use by the religious organization.) As with many city institutions, growth here was challenged by a tight real-estate market as well as the area’s city landmark designation in 1975, which limits construction.