John Mercer Langston School
John Mercer Langston School
Location in Washington, D.C.
|Location||43 P St., NW
|Architect||Appleton P. Clark, Jr.|
|MPS||Public School Buildings of Washington, DC MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||13000143|
|Added to NRHP||April 9, 2013|
John Mercer Langston School is an historic structure located in the Truxton Circle neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The two-story brick building was designed by Appleton P. Clark, Jr. The structure was completed in 1902. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.
The school for was built for African-Americans in 1902 to accommodate the overcrowding conditions in the neighboring John Fox Slater Elementary School. At the time the building was constructed public education in the District of Columbia was segregated by race. It was one of several schools for African-Americans along First Street, NW between L and P Streets. The school was named for John Mercer Langston (1829-1897), who was the first African-American congressman from Virginia and was also a distinguished diplomat, academic and lawyer in the District of Columbia.
Slater and Langston Schools were operated as independent schools until the late 1910s when the Slater principal, Anna E. Thompson, became principal of both schools. During this time the schools were referred to jointly as Slater-Langston. When Slater was annexed to the Margaret Murray Washington Vocational School in 1951, Langston continued as an elementary school. The school was generally overcrowded before the Supreme Court's 1954 decision banning school segregation. By 1982 the overcrowded condition had reversed and enrollment steadily declined until it was closed in 1997. After its services as a school the building became a homeless shelter. It is now empty.
The Langston School is a two-story, red brick building that was designed in the Italianate style. It housed eight classrooms, one for each grade level. The main façade features two entrance towers, one for the boys and one for the girls. A Star of David is placed in each of the blind arches above the second floor windows. The building has an asymmetrical arraignment due to a planned west wing that was never built. It was designed by Washington architect Appleton P. Clark, Jr.
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Historic Landmark Designation Case No. 08-10" (PDF). Historic Preservation Review Board. Retrieved 2013-05-31.[permanent dead link]
- "District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites:New Listings". Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
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