Marjorie Webster Junior College

This small intact campus was built by Marjorie Webster, a significant figure in the education of women in Washington, as a private junior college dedicated to the educational needs of working women.

The Marjorie Webster School was an early example of a private educational institution which focused on the educational needs of working women. Throughout its fifty-one years of existence, the Webster School provided instruction in the career fields open to women, growing its educational focus to keep pace with the times. While conventional -business schools- in the District of Columbia taught specific skills like typing or stenography, the Marjorie Webster program provided more academic depth and breadth by offering liberal arts classes in addition to technical instruction. The school provided classes for both non-resident -day- students, who tended to be employed, as well as a residential program more typical of a four-year college.

The campus dates from 1928, and is a unique example of a small, privately funded and developed college whose buildings reflect a coherent Mediterranean Revival architectural theme. The historic district’s site plan and natural topography are among its most distinctive features, with the picturesque Main Building sited midway up a steep hill overlooking the site against a natural backdrop of tall trees. The Webster House serves as a gatehouse at the Kalmia Road entrance. The historic district also includes a mid-19th century spring house and later buildings.

The district was nominated by the DC Preservation League.

DC designation: September 22, 2011
National Register: February 24, 2014

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1638-40 Kalmia Road and 7753-75 17th Street, NW