M Street High School

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M Street High School
M Street High School.jpg
M Street High School is located in Washington, D.C.
M Street High School
Location in Washington, D.C.
Location 128 M St., NW
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°54′19″N 77°00′48″W / 38.9054°N 77.0134°W / 38.9054; -77.0134Coordinates: 38°54′19″N 77°00′48″W / 38.9054°N 77.0134°W / 38.9054; -77.0134
Built 1891
Architect Thomas Entwistle
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 86002924[1]
Added to NRHP October 23, 1986

M Street High School, also known as Perry School, is an historic structure located in the Northwest, Washington, D.C. It has been listed on the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites since 1978 and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.


The school was founded in 1870 as the Preparatory High School for Negro Youth.[2] The building was designed by Thomas Entwistle from the Office of Building Inspector and it was built from 1890-1891.

It was one of the nation’s first high schools for African Americans and represents an important development of Washington’s education system. The African American community had to fight for quality education in the city. The dual school system created disparities in facilities, grounds, architectural design and size. However, the school provided a rigorous curriculum and an extraordinary faculty because of the limited professional opportunities for African Americans. Principals at the school included Francis L. Cardozo, Sr., Robert H. Terrell and Anna J. Cooper. The school produced a high percentage of college graduates and its alumni included many prominent educators and public figures.[2] The school was renamed Dunbar High School after the death of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1906.

Notable students[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites". DC Preservation. Retrieved 2011-11-09.