Housing Complex

What Has Happened to All of D.C.’s Recently-Vacated Schools?


This morning, I turned to the Washington Post's Metro sectionyes, I actually receive a home edition of the Post—to find an image almost identical to the one I posted yesterday of the Franklin School. It's mostly a random coincidence. But the Post's article touches on some of the same themes—namely returning the Franklin School back to an educational use, after for years it served as a homeless shelter, and now it seems destined to be transformed into a boutique hotel or some other private residential building. (Back in September, the city offered up the Franklin School to both public and private developers with a new request for proposals.)

The Post's article centers on charter schools' growing frustrations with the limited access to empty, publicly-owned spaces. After all, two schools applied to move into the Franklin School earlier this year. But those attempts were rejected. But what I most appreciated about the article was this paragraph, which summarized exactly what's happened to many of the recently-vacated school buildings in D.C.:

Of the 26 public schools whose closures have been announced since last year, seven are or will eventually be occupied by charters. One will be used by the University of the District of Columbia. Four have been filled by other branches of D.C. government, taking them over for, among other purposes, a temporary recreation center and offices for the Department of Public Works. Three will be turned over to developers and two to nonprofit groups. Five are in use as D.C. public schools. One will be torn down and the land turned into a park. The fates of three have not been decided.

Image by NCinDC, Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

  • West215 Design

    Do you have an email address for NCinDC, your photographer? I'd like to have a chance to get in touch with him about using some of his photos!

  • http://www.theother35percent.blogspot.com Cary Silverman

    There is also good coverage of the issue in today's Washington Business Journal, which focuses more broadly on potential uses for Franklin:


  • TripLBee

    It is troubling to me that a handful of bureaucrats can turn over public space to private developers without any input from the public. Franklin has been a public space for almost a century. With one lousy superintendent it could become a bunch of overpriced condos with no chance of ever being reclaimed by the public. This seems wrong to me.