PHOTO: J. Zubrzycki
New York Times, Oct. 29, 1905

From today’s report about overcrowding and capital planning:

A capital plan designed to alleviate current overcrowding and reduce class sizes to the City’s own target levels, based on the current need, should aim to provide at least 167,842 new school seats. While this is clearly a large figure, approximately 100,000 school seats were added from 1902-5 …

What was happening during those years? The city embarked on a construction spree so that it could fulfill the mayor’s 1903 pledge to provide a school seat for every child in the city for the first time. In just two years, 90,000 seats were constructed and bids were awarded for the construction of 93,000 more.

Judging from a table included in a 1905 New York Times article about the building boom, the city was aiming for an average class size of 50 in those new schools: