Established in 1864 to educate free people of color, the Military Road School was formerly located on Military Road, which connected DC’s Civil War forts. In particular, the Military Road School was near Fort Stevens barracks, where many people of color resettled for employment and protection under the nearby fort. For many years, the Military Road School served as the only school available to Black students in Northwest DC. Oral testimony further documents the school’s symbolism as a social and community center for residents in the area.
Built between 1911 and 1912, the new building of the Military Road School is an example of DC architect, Snowden Ashford (1866-1927). As one of the city’s first public buildings designed by the newly created Municipal Architect’s office (1909) and reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (1910), the building reflects the Progressive Era’s goal to enhance the quality of public architecture throughout the city.
With public school desegregation, the school was closed in 1954. The school has since been used for various public and education activities; currently, the building houses the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School.
DC Inventory: July 23, 1998
National Register: July 25, 2003