John Fox Slater School

John Fox Slater Elementary School exemplifies the school buildings designed in the 1880s and 1890s by the Office of the Building Inspector.

The John Fox Slater School is located in a center-city neighborhood of Washington, D.C. known as Shaw East. Completed in 1891 for African American students by the city's Office of the Building Inspector, the Queen Anne/Romanesque Revival-style building is a turreted red brick, eight classroom, two-story school structure, emblematic of late-nineteenth century public school buildings.

Designed according to the same plans as the 1889 Jackson Elementary School on R Street in Georgetown (built for white students), Slater School is characterized by its Victorian massing replete with projecting pavilions, gables, towers, and molded brick string courses. Slater's most prominent feature, its corner tower, is capped by an eight-sided conical roof, sheathed in tin.

Built during the era of Washington’s segregated educational system, the red-brick Romanesque revival style structure is virtually identical to a contemporary elementary school built in Georgetown for white students. Completed in 1891, Slater was overcrowded soon after it opened. In the late 1910s, it was joined with the neighboring Langston School to become Slater-Langston. Both were part of a cluster of African American public schools that was educating a quarter of the city’s black public school students by 1925.

DC Inventory: October 27, 2011
National Register: April 9, 2013



45 P Street NW Washington D.C. 20001