Lafayette High School (Buffalo)

Lafayette High School (Buffalo)

Lafayette High School is the oldest public school in Buffalo that remains in its original building; a stone, brick and terra-cotta structure in the French Renaissance Revival style, by architects August Esenwein and James A. Johnson. Although classes began off-site during construction of the school, the building was completed, and graduated its first class, in 1903. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The school, which currently serves as the "Buffalo Academy of Finance", has been a font of education for over one hundred years, and the names of its alumni read like an American "Who's Who?" of artists, performers and writers:

* Fran Striker (class of 1922), author, creator of the radio serial "The Lone Ranger".
* Gary Mallaber (class of (N/A)), Multiple platinum selling drummer and producer involved with acts such as The Steve Miller Band, Van Morrison and Eddie Money.
* Bruce Shanks (class of 1927), Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist.
* Gordon Bunshaft (class of 1928), noted twentieth-century architect.
* Robert John Donovan (class of 1932) Washington Bureau Chief, "New York Herald Tribune" and "Los Angeles Times". President, White House Correspondents' Association. Author of 12 books including "PT-109". Only journalist to ever address a Joint Session of Congress.
* Frank Kelly Freas (class of 1938), famed science-fiction cover artist.
* Jeremiah Goodman (class of 1939), artist, known simply as "Jeremiah", painter of interior still lifes of famous residences.
* The Modernaires (Hal Dickinson, Chuck Goldstein, and Bill Conway, late 1930s), the popular harmony group renowned for its performances on record and motion pictures with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
* Douglas L. Turner (class of 1949),Executive Editor, "Buffalo Courier-Express", Washington Bureau Chief and columnist for the "Buffalo News".
* Ted Lewin (class of 1953), artist, author and illustrator of children's books.

Shanks (1927) and Lewin (1953), and all the art students in between were influenced by the remarkable Miss Elizabeth Weiffenbach, who taught art at the school for over forty years. These included Jack Smart (class of 1922), an artist who also played "The Fat Man" on 1940's radio; and Irving Jeremiah Goodman (class of 1939), a contemporary artist specializing in room still-lifes. Turner rowed for the U.S. in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, was executive editor of The Buffalo Courier-Express, and is a member of the exclusive Gridiron Club in Washington, D.C.

The public school is supported by the private "Lafayette High School Alumni Association", remarkable in its size and ability to sponsor school causes. In 1999, the association restored the building's landmark "lantern" or "cupola", which had deteriorated and been demolished for safety reasons in the 1970's. In May 2003, the association sponsored and ran a 100th Anniversary Celebration, attended by over 1,700 alumni and their guests, raising $30,000 for the school. The funds will establish the Ramsi P. Tick media room in memory of entrepreneur Tick, an LHS alumnus and philanthropist. The association also awards several annual grants and scholarships for worthy causes and students.

As their logos, the school and the Association use the LHS Triangle (Lafayette High School; Loyalty, Honor, Service) , and the Lafayette Angel.

External links

* [ Lafayette High School Architecture photos.]
* [ Official Lafayette High School website.]
* [ Jeremiah Goodman biography in "Interior Design"]

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