Monroe School, Mrs. Pearson 1940-1950?Bruce Monroe, auditorium

The auditorium of the old Monroe School ca. 1950 (left) and today (right). The Monroe School was built ca. 1899 and located west of, and on the same property as, the current Bruce-Monroe School. Reflecting Washington’s segregated history, the Monroe School was built as a White school. It was changed to a Black school in the mid-1940s and ultimately was desegregated with the rest of the city’s schools.

The school was used through the spring of 1973. Starting in the fall of 1973, the Bruce and Monroe Schools were closed and children started attending the new Bruce-Monroe School. Today, that school is in the process of being razed.

Remarkably, the auditorium from the original school still remains.

The historic image is from the Smithsonian Institution’s Scurlock Studio collection in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History. More images below.

Bruce Monroe, auditorium

Bruce Monroe Demolition

Bruce-Monroe opening 1973

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest, primarily within the District. He’s worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He’s been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is a candidate for the DC Council, Ward 1. He has a MS in Design from Arizona State University with strong interests in preservation, planning, and zoning. Kent is also the force behind the blog Park View, DC.