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Janney Elementary School Washington, D. C.

  • Year Built: 1925
  • Architect: Albert Harris
  • Built By: George E. Wyne

Built to relieve overcrowding at the 1882 Tenley School, Janney Elementary School opened in 1925 during a period of growth in Tenleytown.  The new school, consisting of its central block and east wing, still couldn’t accommodate all the students at the Tenley School. Initially, the third through eighth grade students moved from Tenley School to Janney and in 1926, Janney had 518 students.

Janney was described in The Washington Star (4/12/1925, Part 1, page 5) as “the last word in modern schoolhouse construction. It will have two distinctive features which other buildings of its type in the District lack’s a combination gymnasium and assembly hall and adequate outdoor play space.”

In 1926 just a year after the school’s opening, Blanche Pulizzi, Janney’s first principal provided space in the school for Tenleytown’s first branch public library. Janney’s playground served as the community playground from 1925 to 1958.

The 1932 addition of Janney’s west wing completed the planned phased construction of the extensible school.

With the 1931 opening of Alice Deal Junior High School seventh and eighth grade students could move to Deal and the kindergarten through second grade students still at Tenley School to could move to Janney. Janney became a kindergarten through sixth grade school and remained so until 2009, when sixth grade students moved to the newly enlarged Alice Deal Middle School. 

In 1951-52, its enrollment was 708. In the 1960s, Janney began the tradition of welcoming out of bounds students.

An addition to Janney’s west wide was completed in 2011.

From the beginning, Janney has had a reputation for excellence fostered by a succession of gifted and dedicated principals supported by an outstanding faculty.

(Listed in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, 2009)


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