A mural and other pieces that once adorned the walls of both Peekskill High School and Peekskill Middle School have been restored and installed at the new middle school. A dedication ceremony will take place next week. Read more from the Peekskill school district on the mural and ceremony:
A historic mural painted by B. James Thornley in 1934 will be dedicated by the Peekskill City School District on Tuesday, October 4, at 5 p.m. The restored mural has been reinstalled in the new Peekskill Middle School, where the ceremony will take place, and which is on the site of the painting’s former home.
The mural, “Technology Advancement,” and its companion pieces in Thornley’s series, “History Procession from Egypt to Modern Times,” decorated the Ringgold St. building that was the Peekskill High School from 1930 to 1972 and the Peekskill Middle School from 1972 to 2008. The Technology mural has now been returned to its former home newly refurbished and mounted in a special display case, thanks to the generosity of Dr. Bernard S. Yudowitz.
A member of the Class of 1951, Dr. Yudowitz is a distinguished psychiatrist practicing in Massachusetts. While at Peekskill High School, he was the president of the student council, editor-in-chief of the yearbook, assistant editor of the Mercury student newspaper, in the National Honor Society, on the varsity debate team, and a member of the high school bands, choruses, and many clubs.
In 2007, when plans were underway to build a new middle school, a Peekskill “Traditions Committee” ensured the preservation of many treasured artifacts from the old building. The Committee involved Dr. Yudowitz and his PHS classmate Bob Renza (and Barbara Morse Renza, Class of 1952), and included many Peekskill community members and alumni as well as Peekskill historian John Curran and District staff. The historic murals were carefully removed from the walls and are being painstakingly restored by Fine Arts Conservation Group LLC of New York City. The murals were originally created as part of the Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.
The dedication will begin at 5 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. The Peekskill Board of Education will subsequently hold their regular Board meeting at the Peekskill Middle School.