Reading and 'Riting and 'Rithmetic

Reading and 'Riting and 'Rithmetic (HM26PY)

Location: Washington, DC 20001
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 54.761', W 77° 1.335'

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Midcity at the Crossroads

—Shaw Heritage Trail —

Wrapping the corner across Rhode Island Avenue is Asbury Dwellings for senior citizens. In 1901 it opened as the city's white-only McKinley Technical School, memorializing slain President William McKinley (1843-1901). In 1928 the "colored" school system took over the building for a new Shaw Junior High, honoring Robert Gould Shaw, the white commander of the Civil War Union Army's 54th Massachusetts regiment of black soldiers.

Shaw's acclaimed faculty included abstract artist Alma W. Thomas (1891-1978), who taught there from 1924 until 1960. Today her paintings hang in renowned art museums worldwide.

As time passed, the school became overcrowded and rundown, and parents protested for better conditions. Finally in 1977 a new Shaw Junior High opened at 925 Rhode Island Avenue. Asbury United Methodist Church rehabilitated the former school, and opened Asbury Dwellings in 1982.

During the segregation era (1880-1954), the neighborhood was a center of black education. M Street High School, the nation's first high school (1870) for black students, moved nearby in 1892. Three famous high schools — Cardozo (business), Dunbar (traditional academic successor to M Street), and Armstrong (technical) — were here as well. Thousands of southern families migrated here specifically for the schools, where

teachers with advanced degrees found work denied them by discriminatory universities.

The library building across the street honors plumbing businessman Watha T. Daniel. Daniel (1911-1973) was a leader of the Model Inner City Community Organization, an early 1960s coalition founded to ensure that the poor would have a say in the urban renewal of Shaw. MICCO's work evolved into the Shaw School Urban Renewal Plan of 1969, designed to repair the devastation of the 1968 riots. The plan called for improved schools, better housing, and more services, including a branch library.
HM NumberHM26PY
Year Placed2006
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324667 N 4309031
Decimal Degrees38.91268333, -77.02225000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 54.761', W 77° 1.335'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 54' 45.66" N, 77° 1' 20.1" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 703
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 701-749 R St NW, Washington DC 20001, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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