The Military Road School opened in 1864 near this site in a wood frame former Fort Stevens barracks. At the time this portion of Missouri Avenue was part of Military Road, a Civil War artery linking forts. It was opened in response to the needs of freedmen and women who settled in the area to be near Fort Stevens, a source of protection and employment during the Civil War (1861-1865). Students from this and other upper Northwest neighborhoods attended, as did students from nearby Montgomery County, Maryland, because the school was one of the first to open after Congress authorized public education for Washington's African Americans in 1862.
The original four-room brick building visible today (with a large addition to the east side and the rear, completed in 2009) was designed by Snowden Ashford, the city's white municipal architect.
The school, noted for its high-quality education and the majestic oak trees surrounding it, closed in 1954 after the Brown v. Board of Education decision desegregated the nation's public schools. It is currently occupied by the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School and preserved by the Military Road School Preservation Trust.
The building was listed on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites in 1998.
Military Road School Preservation Trust, “The Military Road School History Center: A Proposal for Restoration,” May 23, 2003.
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