Here, on the left, is another one of those delightful local-scene postcards from the early 20th century, this one postmarked 1914 and showing St. Cecilia’s Grammar School at Chestnut and Hoyt Sts., Kearny.
Unfortunately, they cannot be seen clearly in the reproduction, but standing on the corner are three adorable children, two little boys in Buster Brown suits and a girl wearing a white, ruffled dress and picture hat — clothing that was standard daily garb for youngsters back then.
Regarding the school, it was built in 1908 and offered Catholic education to Kearny youngsters through Grade 8 until it was closed a decade or so ago.
The brick structure housed 15 classrooms. We don›t know what was originally behind that front door, but by the 1960s, it opened into a gymnasium/assembly hall/theater/basketball court (talk about mutli-tasking) that served the adjacent high school, which was constructed in 1920. In the basement was the cafeteria.
In case you›re interested, the school building is (or was) available for lease. You can fi nd a listing/description on the webpage of the Archdiocese of Newark’s Office of Property Management at www.rcan.org. It’s not dated, though, so we don’t know the current real estate status.
– Karen Zautyk