Chain Bridge Road School – Washington, D.C. - Atlas Obscura

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Chain Bridge Road School

A rare example of a rural school in Washington, D.C.  


The Chain Bridge Road School was built in 1923 to serve Black students in upper northwest Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

The building, which still stands today, was expanded from its original iteration as a one-room schoolhouse built in 1865, to a four-room schoolhouse designed to meet the expanding educational needs of the local community.

The original building served children of formerly enslaved and free persons who settled in nearby Battery Kemble to be close to the protection of the Union camp. Many were able to obtain land through purchase or gifting from former slaveowners in the area who were no longer participating in slavery.

The Colonial Revival-style school was designed by municipal architect Albert L. Harris and is a rare example of D.C.’s rural elementary schools. The school closed in 1941.

Know Before You Go

The Chain Bridge Road School was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 9, 2003. Best viewed from a distance. 

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August 31, 2022

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