Following a bequest by Susan Mary Bard (granddaughter of Dr. John Bard) in 1831, this school was built and maintained under the auspices of St. James Episcopal Church to serve the children of the community. After a new town school was built in 1869, this building was used as a reading room. The Greek Revival style portico with pedimented gable leads to a double door with sidelights and transom. The Arts and Crafts fieldstone chimney and fireplace mantel were added in 1913.
The architecture of the attached chapel built in 1856 reflects the published designs of Richard Upjohn's Carpenter Gothic style including board and batten siding, steeply pitched gable roof, stained glass windows, upper trefoil design, open belfry with cast iron bell and pointed spire. The interior has intact wood scissor trusses and elaborately carved Gothic tracery. The chapel served as a winter auxiliary to the unheated main church located on Albany Post Road. Parishioners James and Sarah Roosevelt had their infant son Franklin baptized here on March 20, 1882.