Frelinghuysen University (Edward P. Goodwin House)

This early house in Shaw is best known as the main classroom building of Frelinghuysen University.

This building, known as the Edward P. Goodwin House, was constructed in 1879 as part of the first wave of speculative development to come to the Northern Shaw-Strivers area following the Civil War. Prior to that time, the area had included the types of land uses typical of the urban fringe—some scattered agricultural parcels and shanties, and a good deal of unimproved land being held on speculation.

In 1921, the property was purchased for use as a classroom building by the Frelinghuysen University. The institution was founded by Jesse and Rosetta Lawson and others in 1917 to provide academic programs, vocational training, social services, and religious education for working-class African Americans. The school was named for Senator Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen, an advocate for the rights of Black Americans during Reconstruction. Dr. Anna J. Cooper (1859-1964), a leading Black educator during the period, was closely involved with the curricular development of the University, and later served as its president from 1930-1941.

After the school closed in 1960, the house returned to residential use and remains a private residence today. 

DC Inventory: June 22, 1995
National Register: November 6, 1995
Within Greater U Street Historic District



1800 Vermont Avenue, NW