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Jackson-Reed High School Washington, D. C.

  • Name: Formerly Wilson High School
  • Year Built: 1934-1935
  • Architect: Nathan C. Wyeth, Edward Donn, Frederick V. Murphy, Albert Harris
  • Built By: Unknown

Jackson-Reed High School sites on a triagular piece of land near the city’s highest natural elevation at Fort Reno.

The school consists of a five-part building complex with a central block surrounding a courtyard and end wings organized along an arc facing Nebraska Avenue.

It is built of red brick in an Academic Colonial Revival style, following the Palladian composition of a five-part symmetrical plan connecting secondary wings to a main block with one-story hyphens.

Most of the classrooms are housed in the central block that is flanked by an auditorium to the south and library (the original gymnasium) to the east. The auditorium and library are connected to the main building by enclosed and arcaded walkways. Additions include a gym built in 1971 and a new swimming pool (2008) on the site of the original (1976) one.

The building is covered with a low-pitched hipped roof, adorned with a prominent cupola on-center of the front wing. Designed to accommodate 1,500 students from the surrounding neighborhoods, Jackson-Reed, originally named Woodrow Wilson High School, opened in September 1935 with 770 junior and sophomore students. Jackson-Reed’s current student body comes from all areas of the city.

The school was formally dedicated in March 1936 with President Wilson’s widow in attendance. The name was changed in 2022.

Jackson-Reed has maintained a strong emphasis on academics throughout its history.

As of 2008, ninety percent of its students continued their formal education at two- or four-year colleges. Jackson-Reed students have also excelled at athletics.

(Listed in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, 2010)

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