The Berkeley Institute had its origin in a private school called the Prospect Park Collegiate School, established by Rev. Alfred C. Roe at 185 Lincoln Place, September, 1883. Three years later an association of patrons was formed and the school was incorporated, April 12, 1886, and placed in charge of a Board of twenty-two Trustees. The preamble of the articles of incorporation states that the members " have associated ourselves together for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an educational and literary institution," that " the name by which this Society shall be known in law is ' The Berkeley Institute,' " and that " the number of Trustees to manage the said Society shall be twenty-two." The Trustees for the first year were David A. Boody, Benjamin H. Bayliss, Orson Breed, George Copeland, Theodore Conrow, Charles A. Schieren, William E. Smith, Stewart I,. Woodford, Nicholas Cooper, James C. Jewett, Charles L. Rickerson, Algernon S. Higgins, Joseph B. Brown, Nathan T. Sprague, F. Eugene Pitkin, Aaron S. Robbins, William H. B. Pratt, Reuben Leland, Abraham S. Townsend, Leonard Moody, Wallace H. Cole, Charles C. Martin. The officers elected were David A. Boody, President ; Benjamin H. Bayliss, Vice President; Algernon S. Higgins, Secretary, and Leonard Moody, Treasurer.
In 1889 the present property was purchased, including a plot of land seventy by one hundred and thirty feet, and the double house Nos. 183-185 Lincoln Place. Upon the resignation of Mr. Roe in 1888 Miss Charlotte E. Hayner was placed in control of the school and remained in charge until 1894, when Julian W. Abernethy was elected Principal.
During the ten years of its history about four hundred families have been represented in the patronage of the Institute; it will thus be seen that the school has become an important factor in the educational development of Prospect Heights and vicinity. The enrollment of pupils has increased during the last year from ninety-eight to one hundred and sixty-five, an increase of nearly seventy per cent. This rapid enlargement in number of pupils, as well as the obvious necessity for a large school of the highest order for young women in this prosperous and. growing part of the city, determined the Trustees to erect immediately an adequate building for such a school. Plans by competing architects were submitted to the Building Committee, consisting of Messrs. Martin, Emerson, Conrow, Moody and Griggs ; those submitted by Walker & Morris, of New York, were chosen, and the contract for building was awarded May 12, to Seaman & Son, of Brooklyn. Ground was broken for the new structure May 18, the first shovelfuls of earth being removed by members of the Primary department, in the presence of an audience composed of Trustees, patrons, invited guests, teachers and pupils. Brief addresses were made by David A. Boody, President of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Franklin W. Hooper, of the Brooklyn Institute, and Rev. Allan Mc-Rossie of Grace M. E. Church. The work is now moving vigorously forward and the building will be ready for occupancy October 1, 1896.
The permanency of the institution is now an assured fact, and its development will be much aided and strengthened by the prompt cooperation of those who must ultimately be its beneficiaries.
The Institute possesses superior advantages in its healthful location and pleasant surroundings. It is in the highest part of the city, only two blocks from the main entrance to Prospect Park, and on a quiet street that is free from heavy traffic and the trolley. It is conveniently reached by five lines of street cars, being only a few steps from the Seventh Ave. line, one block from the Flatbush and Vanderbilt lines, and two blocks from the Fifth Ave. lines. Pupils from Flatbush reach the building in ten minutes, and by the recent extension of suburban lines of electric cars it is brought within easy reach of residents of Bay Ridge, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, and other suburbs. It is within short walking distance of all parts of the Park Slope, so that pupils go to their homes at noon for lunch, an advantage of inestimable value in its relation to health. The building stands entirely detached from other buildings, with a broad open space on every side; every room, therefore, is abundantly supplied with light and fresh air. Its proximity to a magnificent park is an advantage of peculiar importance, an attractive opportunity being thus afforded for the most healthful forms of exercise, as well as for excursions with instructors for the study of botany and other branches of natural science.
1. "The Berkeley Institute. History", The Berkeley Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y., 1895-96, pages 5-7.
See AlsoThe Berkeley Institute 1895-6