Stanley J. Makowski Early Childhood Development Center

Buffalo, NY

Applied Expertise

  • Interpretive Planning
  • Parks and Open Space Planning
  • Public Involvement
  • Recreation Planning


The Stanley Makowski Early Childhood Center is a public school in an inner-city Buffalo neighborhood offering a unique learning environment for children from Pre-K through Grade Four. The school was developed on the concept that inquiring, caring, and knowledgeable young people can become lifelong learners and help create a better, more peaceful world.

The school district engaged peter j. smith & company, inc. to work with teachers and administrators to design features that were installed in five courtyards within the school building. Of the five courtyards one is a large play area with conventional play equipment, three are play and outdoor classroom spaces with stone reading circles and the fifth is a science and nature area with teaching aids including a weather station, hourglass, sundial and water wheel all for pre-readers.


2001 Honor Award, NY Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

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