Miner Normal School (Miner Building, Howard University)

Home of Miner Normal School and Miner Teachers College, centers for the training of Washington's African-American teachers for almost 80 years.

The Miner Building is a large, three-story, symmetrically-massed Colonial Revival brick structure; it is prominently situated on a hillside on the east side of Georgia Avenue between Fairmont Street and Howard Place on the Howard University campus. Designed in the shape of an "E", its main north-south block (which parallels Georgia Avenue) is flanked at each end by identical front-gabled, slightly-projecting wings which extend to the rear (east) and widen at their easternmost end to form a square. A third wing, rectangular in shape, extends to the rear from the center portion of the main block (which has an end-gabled roof).

Miner, a pioneer for the education of Negro women for the teaching profession, was also a catalyst in the establishment of teacher training programs for blacks in Washington. She believed black education was a national, rather than a local problem. As an early advocate for the use of public funds for black schools, she argued for equality in education long before it became a major issue.

Miner Teachers College (1929) and its predecessor, Miner Normal School, played a significant role in the development of the black school system in the District of Columbia in the years from 1890 to the mid- 1950's, when Miner graduates had a virtual monopoly on teaching jobs in black schools. As the number of Miner graduates increased, many found jobs in black schools in other parts of the country, effectively expanding the extent of the school's influence.

In recent years, the building has been used for a broad range of community education programs, in addition to the teacher-training classes, which have been continuously offered there since it opened in 1914.

Built 1913‑14, Leon E. Dessez, architect, Snowden Ashford, supervising architect

DC designation January 16, 1991
National Register listing October 11, 1991

Images

Map

2565 Georgia Avenue, NW