100 W Mosholu Pkwy S
William H. Gompert

This public high school opened in Greenwich Village in 1897 under the name Boys High School, occupying the top floor of an elementary school. In 1900, it was renamed after former New York governor DeWitt Clinton, and six years later it moved to a newly constructed building in Hell’s Kitchen, designed by C. B. J. Snyder.

The school relocated to its present home in 1929, when William H. Gompert had replaced Snyder as Superintendent of School Building. He was a prodigious builder, who enjoyed the advantages of designing schools for the outer boroughs. Gompert’s design for Clinton sprawled over the generous site, with a three-story main building, a towered entrance, a large auditorium in the middle of an interior courtyard, and a gymnasium.


Only four years after its opening, enrollment at 5,600-seat Clinton was dramatically increased by the Depression and anti-child labor laws, peaking at 12,000. It remained the most populous New York high school for most of the twentieth century. The third-floor hallway contains two huge New Deal murals by Alfred Floegel: The History of the World (walls) and Constellations (ceiling). The oil on canvas murals were painted in 1934-1940. It was reported in 2018 that they had been damaged by being partially covered with a layer of blue paint.