Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Rhodes Preparatory School

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Rhodes Preparatory School

Rhodes preparatory school top 5 facts

Rhodes Preparatory School was a private school located at 11 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City, United States. It included a lower school with students in seventh and eighth grades and an upper school for students from grades nine through twelve. For a brief period in its history, it also had fifth and sixth grade classes. There was also an evening school for adults.


Rhodes was a college preparatory school. It had an excellent reputation and attracted students from all over the world. The school had exceptional teachers who were dedicated and had high academic expectations for their students. Many graduates went on to Ivy League or Seven Sisters schools, and to other prestigious institutions around the country and the world. The now-defunct school is often referred to as “Rhodes School” or simply “Rhodes.”

Signs in the classrooms read, “Every class is an English class.”

The Warwick New York Hotel, located just a few doors down at 65 West 54th Street, hosted many school functions in its ballroom. Several Rhodes proms and commencement ceremonies were held at another New York Hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Rhodes was the model for the school in the novel Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the school of last resort for ne'er-do-wells who where kicked out of other private schools; i.e. Rick Jason (actor: Combat), who had been kicked out of nine other preparatory schools for outlandish behavior.

Plaque outside 11 West 54 Street building

“These two buildings, which share a fine Georgian façade, were designed in 1896 by McKim, Mead & White for the James Goodwin family, who occupied the residence from 1898 to 1944. The ownership of the building changed hands in 1945, and it became the Rhodes School until 1979. The United States Trust Company of New York purchased the building in 1980. It has been faithfully restored and now serves the Trust Company as a private banking office.”


  • 1912 — Rhodes located at 125th Street
  • 1938 — Relocates to 1041 41st Street (6th Avenue)
  • 1945 — David Merrall, J. Leslie White, and David Goodman purchase Rhodes, and relocate it to 11 West 54th Street (5th - 6th Aves)
  • 1959 — Dr. Robert Lowrance Ph.D. becomes headmaster, and William Kien becomes Director of Admissions
  • 1974 — David Merrall dies; Seymour Merrall, his son, takes ownership
  • 1979 — West 54th Street building sold to US Trust Company. Rhodes relocates to Holy Trinity Roman Catholic School on West 83 Street
  • 1980 — Seymour Merrall sells Rhodes to Donald Nickerson, a La Jolla (Ca.) Country Day School headmaster
  • 1981 — 11 West 54th Street building designated a New York City landmark
  • August 1985 — Dr. Robert Lowrance dies
  • 1992 — Relocates to the Anglo-American School at 291 Central Park West (89th St.) which then becomes part of the Dwight School
  • July 21, 2001 — First Rhodes reunion held at TGI Friday’s in Rockefeller Center
  • July 26, 2003 — Second Rhodes reunion held at the Park Avenue Country Club (27th St. and Park Ave.)
  • Former students

  • Fiona Apple (Singer)
  • Alice Barrett-Mitchell (actress, TV’s Another World)
  • Ron Brown (former U.S. Commerce Secretary)
  • James Caan (U.S. actor, The Godfather)
  • Manny Changalis (AVP Medical & Academic Affairs, St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
  • Robert De Niro (U.S. actor, Taxi Driver)
  • Marc Fisher (Professional Bowlers Association), (United States Marine Corps)
  • Thomas Glave (writer, academic, activist)
  • Juan Pan Guerrero (Northern Mariana Islands politician)
  • Stephen Adly Guirgis (actor)
  • Rick Jason (U.S. actor, TV’s Combat!)
  • Mark Kellner (technology journalist, Adventist Review News Editor)
  • Alexis Lass (author)
  • Noel MacNeal (professional puppeteer, Bear in the Big Blue House)
  • Denise Nickerson (actress, TV’s Dark Shadows, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)
  • Jane Olivor (singer)
  • Ana Ortiz (actress, TV’s Ugly Betty)
  • Alexander J. Perez (civil rights attorney and author)
  • Andrea Port (business owner)
  • Marc Rich (financier)
  • Harry Noah Robbin (attorney)
  • Stephen Scafa (S.J.U. / New York Yankees - second baseman)
  • Jane Stern (writer)
  • Brenda Vázquez (TV producer, editor, gerontologist)
  • References

    Rhodes Preparatory School Wikipedia