The illegible signage at the High School of Art and Design must be replaced

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The graduates of the High School of Art and Design have contributed to New York City's economy and culture for close to eight decades. Its students went on to become architects, art directors, creative directors, advertising agency owners, graphic designers, typographers, fashion designers, fashion illustrators, photographers, cinematographers, filmmakers, animators, cartoonists, set designers, industrial designers, sculptors, painters and art teachers. Among the school's notable alumni are: Paul Winchell, Tony Bennett, Helmut Krone, Henry Wolf, Vladimir Kagan, John Romita, Eva Hess, Sam Scali, Ralph Bakshi, John Johnson, Sheila Metzner, Barbara Nessim, Neal Adams, Calvin Klein, Antonio Lopez, Art Spiegelman, Harvey Fierstein, Amy Heckerling, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Steven Meisel, R.J. Palacio and Marc Jacobs, to name but a few.

Founded as the School of Industrial Art in November 1936, our high school relocated three times, as its popularity increased and enrollment grew. In September 1960 it opened in a brand new building at 1075 Second Avenue, and changed its name to the High School of Art and Design. Its new home was built at a cost of over $8 million – to accommodate 2,000 students, and give young people a high school education while preparing them for careers as professional artists. The building stretched across the block between 56th and 57th Streets. With its art gallery displays visible to passersby, it had quite a presence in the neighborhood. And our school’s name – mounted on the façade of the building in a classic, legible font – was distinguishable across the avenue.

In September 2012 our high school relocated once again. The Department of Education chose to include Art & Design's property as part of a deal made with a developer (to build a larger home for neighboring P.S. 59). A 65-story luxury tower now stands on our school's former grounds. The High School of Art and Design was moved to a campus-style building shared with the elementary school. While the new classrooms are high tech, the accommodations are smaller than its previous location. Moreover, the signage outside the building is illegible and miniscule. It does not represent the image of such a venerable art school.

We, the undersigned, request the Department of Education remove the current signage and replace it with one worthy of the students and graduates of the High School of Art and Design.