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Rand School, A Place That Matters

The former Rand School of Social Science, at 7 E. 15th St., Union Square, Manhattan, nominated by Israel Kugler.

One’s choice of politics in NYC hasn’t been limited to Democrats and Republicans. In 1906, the American Socialist Society founded the Rand School to promote the understanding and practice of socialism. The school’s offerings in the social sciences, humanities, and the trades sought to attract working New Yorkers and provide them with a broad education from a Left perspective.

During its peak years in the early 1920s, the school counted over 5,000 enrolled students and held frequent lectures by notables such as August Claessens, Helen Keller, W.E.B Dubois, Bertrand Russell, Diego Rivera, Upton Sinclair, and Jack London. From 1917 until 1956, the school operated from a distinguished-looking former YWCA building on E. 15th St. Dubbed the “people’s house,” it resembled a socialist Y with its classrooms, library, bookstore, auditorium, and gymnasium. Read more on the PlaceExplorer.

To find archival records and photographs from the Rand School and its Camp Tamiment in the Poconos, go to the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, on the 10th Floor of Bobst Library at NYU. Everybody is welcome.