Franklin School

Inscribed on the DC Preservation League's List of Most Endangered Places for 2005.

From http://www.dcpreservation.org/endangered/2005/franklin.html:

During the late nineteenth century, the Franklin School was hailed in America and abroad as an ideal modern school building, winning awards for design in Vienna, Paris, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. The Franklin School was designed by prominent Washington architect Adolph Cluss and completed in 1869. Its clearly visible location on Franklin Square in a prestigious, residential neighborhood was meant to draw the attention of Congress and the nation to its housing of both the administrative and educational facilities of a school district under one roof. In addition to separate but equal classrooms for girls and boys, the school housed the offices of the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Trustees (later the Board of Education). This arrangement allowed administrators to personally observe the benefits of the new educational system. Large windows that provided plenty of light, spacious and well-ventilated rooms, and fine architectural detailing enhanced the learning environment.

In April 1880, Franklin School was the site of a major scientific experiment when Alexander Graham Bell successfully tested his photophone, which transmitted sound over light waves, between the school building and his laboratory nearby on L Street. Though the invention had no immediate practical outcome, it was a pioneering step in lightwave communications.
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