Morris High was the first public high school in the Bronx. It opened in 1897, and moved into its building on Boston road and 166th Street in 1904. The building, a collegiate Gothic Revival structure designed by C.B.J. Snyder and completed in 1904, is now a designated historic landmark. In a history of over 100 years, Morris has had more than 25,000 graduates. Many of them have gone on to success in a wide variety of careers. Many Morris alumni have become wealthy and a few have become famous – none more so than retired General Colin Powell, the current Secretary of State of the USA.
On June 6, 2004, more than 1,300 Morris High School alumni whose graduation years ranged from 1926 to the present returned to honor the centennial celebration of the opening of this building. Students of the High School for Violin and Dance had the honor of performing at this historic event. Morris High School was named after Gouverneur Morris, a local leader who was prominent during and after the Revolutionary War. He played a leading role in the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
The history of Morris High School as the zoned high school serving the young men and women of its surrounding neighborhood ended in June 2005. After that, the Morris building was completely occupied by five small high schools. The High School for Violin and Dance was one of the founding small schools to be part of the Morris Campus and will continue to write glorious new chapters in the history of this beautiful old building.