African American Schools

Explore the evolution of African American education and school architecture in Washington by visiting nine schoolhouses. The tour begins with schools constructed after emancipation and concludes with a school that is nationally significant for its role in the U.S. Supreme Court case Bolling v. Sharpe, which was decided the same day as the four public school desegregation cases combined in Brown v. Board of Education.

Charles Sumner School

Sumner School is one of three post-Civil War black schools and is named in honor of Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts Senator and ardent abolitionist who attempted, unsuccessfully, to ban segregated schools and public facilities in city. Since its…

M Street High School (Perry School)

The M Street High School was one of the first high schools for black students constructed with public funds in the nation. The school represents an important benchmark in the development of education for Washington, D.C.'s black student…

Miner Normal School (Miner Building, Howard University)

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.…

Thaddeus Stevens School

Built in 1868, enlarged in 1885 and partially rebuilt and enlarged in 1895-1896, Stevens School is the oldest surviving elementary school in the District of Columbia still in its original use as an elementary school. Named after Pennsylvania…

Armstrong Manual Training School

The leader believed that "all forms of labor, whether with head or hand, are honorable" and Armstrong is the preeminent example of this educational movement in Washington, D.C. Armstrong is part of the cluster of traditionally black schools…

Alexander Crummell School

The Alexander Crummell School (1910-11) is located in the Ivy City neighborhood at the intersection of Central and Gallaudet Streets, N. E. on 108,138 sq. ft. trapezoidal lot 142/22 in Square 4042. It is a free-standing building with generous level…

Military Road School

Originally situated under the protective watch of Fort Stevens, and now adjacent to the greensward of park lands connecting the Civil War forts, the school documents the presence of Washington's vanished refugee settlements and their dependence…

Central High School
(Cardozo Senior High School)

The city's largest and most elaborate high school was built 1914-1916 as the successor to Washington High School (opened 1882). It is the work of William B. Ittner, a nationally prominent school architect from Saint Louis. The Elizabethan style…

Joel Elias Spingarn Senior High School

Spingarn High School was built in 1951-1952 for the education of African American students. Spingarn was erected to relieve the overcrowding of the other segregated high schools and had been planned for that purpose since the late 1930s.…

John Philip Sousa Junior High School

The John Philip Sousa Junior High School is located on the northwest corner of Ely Place and Ridge Road in a residential section of southeast Washington, D.C. Built into a low slope, the brick and glass building sets a few feet back from Ely Place…