Katharine Ryan Gibbs grew up in American nineteenth–century elegance in Illinois. The Ryan mansion is below. She replicated this gracious way of life in her schools.
This interior door of specially designed Chekoslavakian ruby glass catches the light at the summer solstice and makes the entire hallway magical. James Ryan, Katharine’s father, stayed true to his Irish roots and kept Celtic traditions alive by building his house to bring the solstice sun inside.
By the 1920s each Gibbs school developed its own personality in upscale areas with elegant amenities and beautiful furnishings. The location and gracious environment promoted learning in the Gibbs view.”
Years later Gordon Gibbs said: “Training is one thing, Mother always felt, but the girls needed a proper environment, too. In Boston, for example, our school buildings are at Back Bay and Beacon Hill and we always have a few antiques spread about.”
When Gibbs moved to office buildings with infrastructure to support the new curricula, the effort at maintaining a gracious ambience survived. Here are the campuses by state in chronological order.
Manhattan, Huntington, Town of Melville
See the campus then and now and a Bermuda Scrapbook from 1936