Real estate speculator Arthur E. Randle bought the old Knox Farm in 1890 and laid out streets in what would become Congress Heights. Several years later, he persuaded Congress to appropriate funds for streetlights and other improvements, including a school to replace the old one-room Giesboro School. An eight-room brick elementary school opened in 1897 to serve white students. At the time the Congress Heights neighborhood was primarily white. For several years the school was the only brick building in the neighborhood; it was joined in 1903 by a brick fire station.

In 1913 Municipal Architect Snowden Ashford modernized the school and added classrooms, a tower, and a clock. More additions came in 1931.

The neighborhood remained white during the segregation era. However, after Congress Heights School was desegregated following the 1954 Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision, most white families moved away and the neighborhood became predominantly African American.

By 1983 the school had deteriorated to the point that the city closed it, but it remained an important community landmark. Starting in 1999 its grounds hosted the Ward 8 farmers market. Imagine Southeast Public Charter School was slated to move into the rehabilitated building in early 2011.


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