Former Blessed Sacrament Academy

Former Blessed Sacrament
This isn’t a parochial school anymore, but it was when young Dorothy Rothschild attended 100 years ago.
I about fell over when I walked up to this place. It is still standing, although it’s not a Catholic school anymore. This is where as a young girl Dorothy Rothschild first developed the wit and talent that would make her one of the leading American writers. It is located at 168-170 W. 79th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues.

She and her older sister, Helen, were students here. Dorothy walked from her home on West 68th street with one of her housemaids. Later, the family moved closer to the school. Biographers point to 1900 as the time young Dorothy Rothschild enrolled at Blessed Sacrament. Parker told interviewers late in life she loathed the place.

Despite being Jewish, she attended the parochial school run by The Sisters of Charity, and of course, she drove the nuns nuts. Apparently, the nuns were mean and young Dot had few school chums.

She developed her sense of style and independence here and at home, where she was the “artistic” member of the family. When she was 14, Dorothy was enrolled in a finishing school in New Jersey.

It probably looked this way when Dot was a kid. The building is just a short walk from Central Park. Today, the double-brownstone is still the same, and still a school. The current tenants are the Gunter Hirshberg Elementary School and Rodeph Sholom Schools & Community House.