In 1972, Washington, DC opened the doors
to the HD Woodson Senior High School. It was the city's first new school in twelve years, and the first to be constructed after riots devastated
the city in 1968. Like its sister school across town, it had been built to withstand
another riot, and protect its students within its fortress-like walls. For a time, it stood as the pride and joy of the city's school system, featuring a diverse range of academic and vocational programs in a state of the art 8-story building complete with escalators, science labs, and a six-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community. By 2008, however, things had gone horribly, horribly wrong.
The building was literally crumbling, many of its original facilities had closed due to neglect, only 13% of sophomores were proficient in reading or mathematics, and violence was a daily concern. Facing no other choice, the city closed the school in 2008, and demolished
the brutalist structure shortly thereafter.
After a three year series of delays
, next week, students will begin classes
in the newly reconstructed
HD Woodson High School; a 3-story state of the art building complete with elevators, science labs, and an eight-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community -- leading many to question: Will it work this time? The correlation between architecture and academic performance is not well-studied, and previous efforts
have been inconclusive at best.
posted by schmod
on Aug 18, 2011 -