Chain Bridge Road School

This 1923 school is a link to the African American community that grew around Battery Kemble after the Civil War.

One of only a few extant rural schools in Washington, this four-room schoolhouse, built in 1923, serves as a link and memorial to the vanished post-Civil War community of Black refugees and freedmen that grew up around the city’s Civil War fortifications. Built across from Battery Kemble on a road that still retains its character as a rural lane, the Chain Bridge Road School replaced an 1865 frame schoolhouse on the site.

Although a product of the prominent and prolific Municipal Architect Albert Harris, the school is atypical of his work, and much plainer than its contemporaries. The hip-roofed building is poured-in-place concrete on the first story, and frame on the upper story, uniformly clad in stucco, with large ganged multi-pane windows and a Colonial Revival entry surround.

In 1940, the 17-year-old building was closed, and its students transferred in mid-year to the Phillips-Wormley School in Georgetown, following a petition that had circulated among the white residents of the suburbanizing area, which cited dubious claims of declining enrollment and poor conditions.

DC Inventory: June 27, 2002
National Register: December 9, 2003



2800 Chain Bridge Road, NW