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The Cardozo (Business) High School occupied this site in 1933, in a building constructed in 1904 as a business high school for white students. The school is named for its founder, Francis L. Cardozo (1836-1906), who, as principal of the Colored Preparatory High School (1884-1896), organized the public schools' first business department in 1886. Cardozo was a South Carolina politician who came to Washington after the end of political Reconstruction (1865-1877) and completed his elective political career in South Carolina. In 1928 the business department became a separate high school and moved into the M Street School building (First and M streets, NW).

After World War II (1939-1945) and increased migration, Cardozo had become overcrowded. Students were forced to take classes in morning and afternoon shifts. At the nearby Central High School (13th and Clifton streets, NW) for white students, however, enrollment was decreasing as white families moved out of the city to the suburbs. In 1950 Central High School was renamed Cardozo High School and became all black.

The Cardozo Business School building was razed in 1960.

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