Schoolhouse Tour

Welcome to Nightingale

Bordering Central Park and steps from many of the world’s most important cultural institutions, The Nightingale-Bamford School has been an essential part of New York’s most historically significant neighborhoods for more than a century. While the cityscape and community may have changed over the years, Nightingale’s mission has remained a constant: to educate the minds and hearts of every girl who enters our school and preserve the tradition of students of all ages under one roof to foster lifelong relationships. We live this mission through our innovative and adaptive curriculum, community-focused lifestyle, and the carefully considered spaces where we learn, teach, and grow together. From the rooftop’s playground to the lower level’s Black Box Theater, Nightingale is a state-of-the-art Schoolhouse nestled within timeless urban architecture. Every entryway, every classroom table, every common space, and every classroom has been thoughtfully designed to optimize the ways girls learn best.

Enter Nightingale

Nine Floors and a World of Possibilities

From laboratories to lounges, sunlit terraces to photography darkrooms, and performance spaces to the makerspace, every room on every floor of our Schoolhouse is intentionally designed to kindle the flames of imagination and lifelong learning in our students.

  • Enter Nightingale
  • Main Classrooms
  • Special Classrooms
  • Community Spaces

Enter Nightingale

The Blue Doors

Nightingale’s iconic blue doors are the gateway into our world. On their first day of school, Mr. Burke warmly greets each kindergartner with a smile and handshake; then, a senior takes her hand to welcome her inside. This special tradition illustrates how our community supports, challenges, and celebrates one another from a student’s first day to her last. When the moment arrives to exit the blue doors one final time, every graduating senior truly knows the meaning of belonging within the Nightingale community.

Main Lobby

Every morning, students begin their days by walking through our song-filled lobby to the front desk, eager to be greeted by name (and often asked about their journey to school that day, what they are most looking forward to, or about how their pets and siblings are doing). When each day’s last bell rings, students again pour through the lobby doors, hugging and waving before heading out to continue their days. Our intentionally designed single entry/exit point lets students and their parents and guardians, trust they are safe.

Main Classrooms

Lower School

Nightingale’s Lower School homerooms are located entirely on the fourth floor to encourage student interactivity, teacher collaboration, and faculty supervision. Connected classrooms emphasize our commitment to the schoolhouse unity, with movable walls that adapt to all-grade programming as easily as small-group work. It is in these classrooms that new interests will blossom, teachers will collaborate, and students will begin to know every girl in their grade, initiating what for so many become lifelong friendships.

Middle School

At Nightingale, we believe that Middle School is not just a transition between the lower and upper grades, but an essential destination unto itself. That is why the sixth floor is specifically designed to embrace the social-emotional learning that occurs in these integral years. Classrooms are built with space dividers that literally reconfigure with each lesson, while movable furniture assures that every student is seen and heard. Completing the Middle School is The Hub, an innovative common space where students and faculty ask questions, share ideas, and inspire one another.

Upper School

Nightingale's Upper School celebrates our students’ growing independence, reminding them at every turn that they are the drivers of their education. A university-caliber amphitheater-style classroom designed for public speaking invites lively discussion and advocating for oneself, while Harkness-style seminar rooms foster a stimulating, open-minded learning environment. The design of the Upper School rooms allows each student to find her unique voice and have it be heard, both within the blue doors and outside them.

Special Classrooms

Science Labs and Makerspace

Nightingale’s labs are designed specifically for group experimentation—an essential aspect of scientific discovery and a particularly powerful learning method for young women. Students gather around a counter designed so that everyone can watch experiments, better for students to gather around a chemical reaction or intricate dissection, and stools are built on wheels to encourage collaboration. The Makerspace is filled with every tool a curious mind could want, from micro-controllers to 3D printers. It is here that art, science, and technology truly become one discipline far greater than the sum of its parts.

Performance Spaces

Our performance arts spaces are designed to give students of all ages and levels an ideal environment to explore space, sound, and self-expression. The dance studio features hardwood flooring for safety and comfort, and mirrored walls help students perfect their form and better integrate their surroundings. For musicians, dedicated practice rooms and instrument storage give every student space best suited to her ability. Some rooms even contain banked seating, creating a stage-like ambiance where artists can practice their craft before performing.

Visual Arts Rooms

Nightingale’s visual arts rooms are the perfect place for young minds to explore the reaches of their creativity. Disciplines ranging from painting and photography to woodworking and animation are all taught by working artists in professional-level facilities. With windows facing north and frequently featuring balconies and skylights, our studios are filled with an abundance of natural light at all hours of the day. The expanded ceramics studio offers ample space to explore the medium, and the Lower School studio is the ideal place for inspiring young minds.


Nightingale’s gymnasium is a space where students can exercise, play, and act their age. Located within the Schoolhouse, the regulation-sized gym transforms with each class and event. The space can be divided to make room for more than one class at a time, basketball hoops can be raised or lowered for different age groups, and bleachers can be pulled out of the walls to accommodate seating for rowdy home games, pep rallies, and extra-large assemblies. There is a PT room where students can receive therapy from trainers.

Community Spaces


The Lower School Library is a young reader’s literary fantasy brought to life. Its whimsical architectural details include a central grove of trees and a cozy nook complete with a circular window, creating the perfect space for students to fall in love with books forever. The Middle/Upper School Library is flooded with light from the school’s original arched windows and features thousands of physical and electronic volumes to explore. Specially designed rooms for independent study and group collaboration make this space a vital part of our educational experience.

Student Center

The daily hum of lunchtime conversation and laughter in the student center is one of the most recognizable signs of Nightingale’s communal spirit. Lower School students eat family-style in small groups so that everyone gets a chance to know each other more, and these younger students are encouraged to expand their palettes by trying a little bit of each of the day’s many lunch options. Tables-for-two are filled with older students and teachers who have lively discussions over lunch, and larger diamond-shaped tables are designed to make everyone feel included.


The Nightingale auditorium hosts audiences of excited students, faculty, and parents for everything from assemblies and lectures to large-scale theatrical productions complete with professional lighting and set design. Like so much of the school, the space is flexible in its design, as seats fold to the back of the room to create an additional open area for more interactive school-wide activities. The auditorium is also home to some of the cherished memories in a Nightingale student’s career, including Convocation, the Class IV Daisy Ceremony, the Class VIII Moving Up Ceremony, and so much more.

Black Box Theater

Simple in its design but limitless in its potential, The Black Box Theater gives students of all ages a safe and open space to push their creativity to new levels. The theater is versatile enough to accommodate everything from kindergarten sing-alongs to improv dance classes and Nightingale Parents Association events. It’s also the perfect place for especially ambitious students to write, direct, and stage their own productions, frequently breaking the boundaries of what could be performed in a more traditional auditorium.

Upper School Commons

Whether to quietly study, start a new project, or just relax with a puzzle and some chocolates, the Commons is an essential part of Upper School life at Nightingale. The glass-enclosed space reflects the transparency and communal nature of the school itself, and its location next to the student life and deans’ offices lets faculty help students plan projects and events in a casual setting. The Commons also leads to the terrace, where students gather to catch some vitamin D, meet up with friends, and have breakfast before class.