Western High School is among the city’s grandest Classical Revival school buildings, poised like a temple of learning on the heights above Georgetown. Built in between 1897 and 1898, it is one of the city’s first buildings constructed specifically for high school use. The design, by architect Harry B. Davis, is notable not just for its monumental Ionic portico and rejection of Victorian style, but also for its landscaped setting—an innovation attributable to the mature landscape that already existed on the site, a former estate known as The Cedars.
Organized in 1890 and first housed at the old Curtis School on O Street, the school originally served white students in the western section of the District and suburbs. It accepted its first class as a high school for the arts in 1974, and graduated its last regular high school class in 1976.
DC Inventory: May 23, 2002
National Register: July 25, 2003