PCS 100: 1860 Broadway
Home to PCS from 1927 until 1956
"You would never dream the stern-faced skyscraper was Broadway's little red schoolhouse," wrote an Associated Press reporter in 1949. Andy McCulloch '44
recalled, "the atmosphere was very warm, relaxed, comfortable and it felt like home." Another magazine wrote, "you can imagine how it surprises a stranger in the city to see the PCS gang -- with books under their arms -- pouring out of an office building in the middle of the day."
After a series of temporary quarters, PCS settled into a permanent home in 1927 when it moved to 1860 Broadway. PCS was among the first tenants to occupy the 17-story commercial building just after it was completed. Demolished in 1985, the building stood at the northeast corner of Broadway and West 61st Street. Eventually, the school occupied the fourth, fifth and sixth floors with classrooms and offices, a library, cafeteria and assembly room. The location was convenient to the theatre district and the radio studios clustered around Columbus Circle. Arthur Anderson '41
remembers "shuttling back and forth between PCS and the CBS studios at 485 Madison Avenue, NBC at Rockefeller Center, and WOR-Mutual at 1440 Broadway."
Several PCS students, like Billy Halop '38 ("Bobby Benson"), Baby Rose Marie '42
and Sybil Trent '44
("Baby Sybil Elaine and her Kiddie Review") starred in their own radio shows. Others appeared regularly on "Quizz Kids," "The Goldbergs," and "Let's Pretend." Arthur Anderson, who would later write a book about "Let's Pretend," confirmed that the majority of the cast attended Professional Children's School.
Broadway productions featuring PCS students during those years included "Annie Get Your Gun," Babes in Arms," "Best Foot Forward," "Carousel," "Dead End," "I Remember Mama," "Life with Father," "Member of the Wedding" and "The Women." A 1944 school census listed students' professional affiliations as follows: 95 on the stage, 6 in the circus, 38 in radio, 24 in ballet, 41 in music, 31 in vaudeville, 8 in night clubs, 47 models and 10 ice skaters. -- John Tucker