Industrial School No. 7/First Hungarian Baptist Church

225-227 East 80th Street
Fowler & Hough

This striking Romanesque Revival style building was originally erected as the Industrial School No. 7 for the American Female Guardian Society. Founded in 1834 as the Female Moral Reform Society of New York, a religious-based group concerned primarily with sexual morality, the society changed its name in 1839 and refocused its efforts on giving material aid to the city’s poor. By the early 20th century, it operated 12 schools in New York, as well as a substantial “Home for the Friendless” in the Highbridge section of The Bronx. In 1918, the society built a new school farther uptown and sold this building to the New York City Baptist Mission Society, which altered it with a church on the ground floor, Pastor’s apartment on the second floor and bedrooms for young women on the top floor. The Society primarily served Yorkville’s growing Hungarian immigrant community, especially young women seeking employment. For several decades the building housed the Hungarian Girls Club, and in 1957 it was sold to the First Hungarian Baptist Church. Note the intricate terra-cotta ornament, particularly the door hood and round transom windows above the entrance, as well as the solid two-tone brickwork and round-arched windows—all hallmarks of Romanesque Revival style architecture.