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Stevens School

Stevens School photo

The Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School is located at 1050 21st Street, NW.  The Stevens building was built in 1868 as one of the District’s first publicly funded schools for African-American children. The school was named for Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868), a Pennsylvania congressman and prominent abolitionist who championed “free schools” for all. The historic Thaddeus Stevens School was one of 23 schools to be closed at the end of the 2008 school year. Its students now attend the Francis-Stevens Education Campus, located 4 blocks away at 2425 N Street, NW.

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) issued a solicitation for development of this site in late 2008 and made a selection in the fall of 2009 for the conversion of the space into a residential development.  In the fall of 2010, the negotiations between DMPED and the development team came to an end. 

In November of 2011, the original Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) was issued by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME).  After hosting a successful Pre-Response Conference and Site Tour in December of 2011, DMPED’s issuance of this RFEI drew 6 development team and 6 educational-use team bidders from around the country that were interested in redeveloping the school by its March 2012 deadline.   

After a series of community meetings and developer presentations in July, including a cohesive planning effort with ANC2A, the Foggy Bottom Association and the West End Citizen’s Association, the District selected the Akridge-Argos-Ivymount Schools & Program team based on several criteria: (i.e. vision, past performance, financial capacity and community feedback but use different terms). 

Akridge-Argos’s proposed vision for developing the site includes a 10-story, LEED-certified, Class “A” office building named Thaddeus Stevens Place; ground-floor retail; and underground parking.  No government subsidy will be provided for this development. 

The development team will redevelop the land adjacent to the historic Stevens School and rehabilitate the existing historic Stevens School building for Ivymount Schools & Programs. Ivymount Schools and Programs is a high-quality provider of special-education services that has partnered with the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) for many years.  Ivymount’s proposal for the Stevens School parcel consists of approximately 50 seats for special-needs students and a proposed capacity-building program in partnership with DCPS and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Founded in 1961, Ivymount has served over 8,000 children and young adults with disabilities from throughout the Greater Washington area. The school has been awarded several prestigious honors, including twice being named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education and being named a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers.

The Land Disposition Agreement was signed with the development team in December of 2014.  The development team is currently in the design phase of the project and received approval from the Historic Preservation Board for the rehabilitation of the school and the design of the new office building. 

Development Partners
Akridge, Argos Group

Educational-Use Partners
Ivymount Schools & Programs

Development Program

  • Office Space (GSF): 125,000 gsf
  • Retail (GSF): 5,000 gsf
  •  Parking: 90-130 spaces

Community Benefits

  • Establishment of a college scholarship fund in the name of Thaddeus Stevens and in the legacy of the school for ANC 2A residents with special needs
  • Establishment of a $75,000 capital reserve fund for the Steven School building
  • Creation of a statue commemorating Thaddeus Stevens to be placed onsite
  • Creation of a feature wall in office building located on the Development Parcel that celebrate the legacy of Thaddeus Stevens by including a rotating art gallery for African-American artists and Stevens School students
  • The lobby of Stevens School building will be dedicated to history of Stevens School

Surplus and Disposition