History

In the early 1800’s the land where our school now stands was set aside as a “Potter’s Field” where victims of cholera epidemics, poor, indigent, and those without religious affiliation in the city could be buried.

1800

In 1885, the City hired renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to convert the land, now surrounded by bustling neighborhoods, into a public park overlooking the city. Olmsted spent two years regrading and changing the land into a beautiful park.

1815

In 1895, the City decided to build its second high school on the land (Old Central was the first).

1895

Masten Park High School opened in 1897 under the leadership of Frank Fosdick. The students eventually came to call him “Pop” as he was such an esteemed father figure among students and the community. The school became a renowned place of learning and model of public education in the United States. Its graduates were so coveted that multiple colleges and universities including Princeton and Cornell provided Pop Fosdick with full scholarships to give to any student he designated.

1897

The original Masten Park High School burned down in March of 1912. Pop Fosdick ran back and forth into the building to ensure that all 1100 students and faculty made it out safely. As a result, Pop Fosdick was the only person to suffer serious injuries. He was hit by falling debris and hospitalized. Soon after, “Fearless Fosdick” became the mascot for Masten Park HS to recognize Pop’s heroism. The Fearless Fosdick Logo is still utilized in our school today as a source of pride, nostalgia and a rally call to courage among students and faculty at important moments. (In 2008, current principal, Dr. Kresse, presented every student and faculty member with a Fearless Fosdick patch as they embarked on a two year exodus from the school building during reconstruction- all subsequently lived up to the legend of Fearless Fosdick.)

1912

The new Masten Park High School was designed by architects Esenwein and Johnson using the template of their 1903 Lafayette High School design and opened in the fall of 1914.

1914

Pop Fosdick served as principal until 1926.

1926

C. Brooks Hersey becomes School Principal (1926-1939)

1926

Pop Fosdick died in 1927. Soon after, the clock tower that adorned the front of the school building began to crumble and was removed by the school district. The FMP alumni like to say, “A part of the building died along with Pop Fosdick.” After his death the school was renamed “Fosdick-Masten Park High School.”

1927

Garnett Roberts becomes School Principal (1939-1953)

1939

In 1953, the school district moved the Girls Vocational Program into the school building and removed the boys.

1953

William Reagan becomes School Principal (1953-1956)

1953

William Pritchard becomes School Principal (1956-1962)

1956

Edwin Uhl becomes School Principal (1962-1968)

1962

Robert Fritzinger becomes School Principal (1968-1972)

1968

Edmund Olczak becomes School Principal (1972-1977)

1972

The City Honors Program was established in 1975 as an experiment in progressive education at Bennett High School.

1975

In 1977, the City laid Fosdick Street through the campus of the school and placed public housing on the land in front of the school that was once the playfield for the students.

1977

John Robinson becomes School Principal (1977-1979)

1977

The FMP Girls Vocational Program continued successfully and proudly until 1979 when the school district eliminated it. The FMP building was used briefly as a warehouse and then abandoned for demolition. With only months to spare before demolition, the loyal and feisty FMP alumni were able to get the building declared an Erie County landmark, and then placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This forced the City and school district to utilize it again.

1979

Michael Anelli becomes School Principal (1980-1995)

1980

At FMP, the City Honors program blossomed and evolved focusing on acceleration, enrichment and the International Baccalaureate Program which arrived in 1989.

1989

Paul LaFornara, Ed.D. becomes School Principal (1995-2000)

1995

Catherine Battaglia, Ed.D. becomes School Principal (2000-2005)

2000

William Kresse, Ph.D. becomes School Principal (2005-Present)

2005