The High School Years of Leo Max Frank from 1898 to 1902 at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY

Leo Frank Brooklyn NY 1902
A photo of the Leo Frank in his Brooklyn home, taken sometime after he completed his education at the Pratt Institute (circa 1902).
Growing up in Brooklyn: Public Schools, College Prep at Pratt Institute (1898 to 1902)

Leo Frank spent his most formative years in Brooklyn, NYC, where he grew up and was educated in the New York City Public School System and the prestigious college prep school, the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn (1898 to 1902), a creative institution of higher learning that is still running strong more than one hundred years after Leo attended. The Pratt Institute was a high school when Leo Frank attended at the turn of the century, but it has since graduated into a prestigious college with a reputation for developing high artistic and creative intelligence in its students, the Apollonian in harmony with the Dionysian.

One can only imagine what a fascinating place Brooklyn must have been like in the decades surrounding the turn of the century as it was going through its own unique development boom and evolution during its life cycles. Brooklyn seems to be stuck in the forever of being the place where all the Hip New Yorkers were born, lived, or eventually move to.


An Old Black and White Photo of the Pratt Institute
In 1898, at the age of fourteen, Leo Frank began attending the Pratt Institute located in Brooklyn, New York City, only one block away from his apartment. Leo Frank is listed as having lived at 368 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238, when he became an alumni of the Pratt Institute and was attending Cornell University upstate in Ithaca, NY (Pratt Institute Monthly, 1902, 1903). During Leo Frank’s high school freshman year, Leo Frank discovered art, drafting, architecture, and debating, and when Frank successfully graduated in the summer of 1902, he had been noted in the Pratt Institute Monthly about his exciting debate he was preparing.

The Pratt Institute would later transform from a creative place of learning whose education ended with high school and known for its high-quality college preparation to become a premiere accredited college.

Lasting Relationships

Numerous friends, associates, teachers, and leaders from the Pratt Institute (and Cornell) would make the long journey to Atlanta, Georgia, to testify on behalf of Leo Frank. One of those witnesses was a visionary woman who started the children’s library division for the New York Public Library. Her name was Anne Carroll Moore (July 12, 1871 to January 20, 1961), librarian from the Pratt Institute who had taken a special liking to Leo Frank when he attended as a young child.

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Google Aerial Street Map of the Pratt Institute

Leo Frank was a debater in high school and continued on at college where he joined the debating team his freshman year and stayed on board for all four years becoming a master debater and debating coach.

The Pratt Institute Monthly, June 1902 issue, page 231.

Street View of 368 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

The Pratt Institute Monthly, February 1903 issue, page 110, lists Leo Frank as an alumnus living just right around the corner from Pratt at 368 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

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Google Satellite Aerial of 368 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Google Maps Aerial Screen Capture of Pratt Institute (Click Image)



Notable American Women: The Modern Period : A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 4. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980.

Pratt Institute Monthly, 1902 and 1903: June 1902, page 231, and February 1903, page 110.

Pratt Institute Monthly, 1902, including 1903:

Page Last Updated: April 2012