Posts Tagged Van Buren School

1932 Map Showing Location of “white” and “colored” School Buildings [DC Engineer Commissioner]

DC Public Library, Special Collections

DC Public Library, Special Collections

Washington City schools once had separate boards for its “colored school” and white schools. In the early 1930’s there were only “white schools” in Anacostia. The Birney School, named after abolitionist James G. Birney, outside of Old Anacostia at the junction of Howard Avenue and Nichols Avenue was the local “colored school.” Today the building still stands as the Thurgood Marshall Academy.


DC Public Library, Special Collections

DC Public Library, Special Collections

The “white schools” located on this map are Ketcham Elementary School which today is at the corner of 15th Street and Good Hope Road, formerly Adams Street and Good Hope Road, and the Van Buren School and the Van Buren Annex which were on W Street, formerly Jefferson Street, and V Street, formerly Washington Street.

Anacostia High School, which was built in 1935, is not represented on the map. Additionally, the old Saint Teresa School, which opened in 1908 and is now abandoned, was a Catholic School and is not represented in this map of city schools. 

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Brief notes on the old Van Buren School [Evening Star, 1949 & 1950]

Anacostia Citizen’s Unit Votes Against Home Rule

The Anacostia Citizens’ Association last night went on record as opposed to home rule.

W. F. Yearwood, second vice president, who introduced the motion said he was against any form of home rule and “wants to see the District remain as it is.”

Dr. Samuel O. Burdette, speaking in favor of self-government, said he is against taxation with representation.

The association also directed a letter to be sent to the District Recreation Board asking that the Van Buren School and the Van Buren annex be torn down and the grounds be used to build a playground for children of the area.

Evening Star, June 22, 1949, p. 28

School Site in Anacostia Proposed for Playground

The Anacostia Citizens’ Association last night voted to ask the Board of Education to turn over the site of the recently razed Van Buren School for use as a playground.

It was pointed out that, despite its small area, the location would be ideal for the construction of a smaller children’s play area.

The group also changed its constitution and by-laws to set up a special membership for businessmen. Businessmen would be permitted to display an association label for a slightly higher dues payment.

Evening Star, June 21, 1950, p. 17

The Van Buren School opened in 1891 on Jefferson Street, today W Street, in old Anacostia.


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Raze Application filed for 1328 W Street (site of former Unity Health Clinic, previously the Van Buren School)

1328 W Street SEA raze application has been submitted for 1328 W Street SE, the former site of the Unity Health Clinic and in a previous era the Van Buren School. In order to re-locate the two homes on the Big K site — 2234 MLK Jr. Ave. & 2238 MLK Jr. Ave — the old quonset hut will have to go.

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