Typical of DC's post-Civil War red brick schoolhouses, the Daniel Webster School shows how mass-production technology influenced the design of civic buildings in an era of great public works. It is an efficient standardized design developed by the Office of the Building Inspector, with austere Romanesque Revival facades by Architect of the Capitol Edward Clark.
Erected in 1882, the building soon became stranded in a growing business district. From 1924 to 1949, it housed the Americanization School, a specialized branch of the public schools with a curriculum based on English and citizenship classes. This institution reflected a national movement after World War I to support the assimilation of immigrants into American society; it was central to the lives of thousands of new citizens naturalized in Washington.
The building is three stories, red brick with a corbelled cornice, hipped slate roof, multi-paned windows, and heavy brick and stone portal. It was named in honor of the celebrated orator Daniel Webster.
DC Inventory: February 25, 1999 (reconfirmed October 26, 2000)