Franklin School RFO

As discussed by Neil Albert at the April DNA Meeting, it is expected that a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) will soon be issued for the Franklin School. The building had been used as an emergency homeless shelter the last several years until the Mayor ended the program late last fall. I’ve found that there was a Request for Offers (RFO) issued on April 9th for the property to be reused as a Charter School.

Photo from flickr user (army.arch)

History of the building from

Franklin School
13th and K Streets, NW
Constructed in 1869

By 1869 the modern school building was again redefined by Adolf Cluss in his design of the Franklin School on the corner of 13th Street and K Street, Northwest. Franklin was the grandest building of all the schools, meant to house not only all grades at the time, but the offices of the Superintendent (this office created in 1869) and the Board of Trustees (Education), as well. Franklin also housed the first Normal School for white students.

The massive Great Hall at Franklin functioned as a community resource for concerts and other special events. Alexander Graham Bell successfully tested his new invention, the photophone (sound transmitted by light waves), from the rooftop of Franklin School in 1880.

The building’s 19th-century façade – including a bust of Benjamin Franklin – is an eloquent expression of principles of public education in post-Civil America. The exterior of Franklin was restored in 1992 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior, however, remains largely as it was when the building was closed decades ago. Stanley Jackson, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, announced on March 10, 2005 that the Franklin School will be re-developed by the District-based Western Development Corp. and Jarvis Corp. as a boutique hotel.(Ed note: Seems the building has been down the RFEI path unsuccessfully before)

The new 25-page 2009 RFO (PDF) can presently be found on the district’s website.

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