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  • Writer's pictureHistoric Ithaca

Beverly J. Martin's Architectural Legacy

Today we celebrate the legacy of Beverly J. Martin Elementary School, a beacon of education and community in Ithaca!

Image of 302 W Buffalo ST Ithaca, NY circa 1954. Now BJM Elementary School

Originally erected in 1931 as Boynton Junior High School, this beautiful building at 302 W Buffalo Street has played a pivotal role in the lives of generations of students. Designed in a simplified Collegiate Gothic style by Arthur N. Gibb, it has stood as a symbol of learning and growth in our community. In 1972, Boynton Junior High School moved to a new location, and the building became Central Elementary School. In 1992, the year before she died, Central Elementary School was renamed the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in her honor. When accepting this well-deserved tribute, she said, “To have a school named after you in your lifetime takes your breath away.”

An image of 205 Second ST, Ithaca, NY this was the home of Beverly J Martin for her entire time in Ithaca from childhood to adulthood

Beverly Martin lived her entire life in the same house located at 205 Second Street in Ithaca. The single-family dwelling was built in 1890 in avernacular style common for its time.

Beverly J. Martin was not just a teacher and principal; she was a trailblazer in education and social justice. Her commitment to equality and inclusion extended beyond the classroom, as she served on numerous boards and organizations, advocating for change and empowerment. You can learn more about her extraordinary life by visiting our friends @tompkinshistory

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