I Guess They Didn’t Meet Their Fundraising Goal


This was Powell Junior High School and more recently the Bell Multicultural School located behind the new DCUSA mall between Park and Irving on Hiatt Place. Check out the full demolition after the jump.


16 Comment

  • Where did you get the idea that this is Powell JHS? There’s no such thing. There is a Powell ES, located on the corner of 14th & Upshur Sts, NW, a functioning public school. This building being demolished I’m sure is the old Bell Multicultural, which used to be Bell Vocational. Currently, Bell is housed with Lincoln JHS in a new school building on 16th. Please correct this.

  • Looks like those ants from Indiana Jones got to that building.

  • Does anyone know the plans for the space?

  • Toby’s right – if you had turned around and looked directly across Hiatt Street from where the picture was taken, you’d see the new campus, which was built in part with money from that fund raising. The new Bell/Lincoln campus was the first new construction of a DCPS high school in decades – I’d say they met their goal. I believe that the only thing that was planned and not met were funds to convert the old Bell lot to a soccer field.

  • This needs to happen to many other abandonded buildings in the city. If no one has an interest in a 50+ year old structure, it’s going to get rat-ed real quick.

  • Toby needs to take a chill pill.

  • Kevvey, I have. Sometimes in writing, words sound more curt or strident than they do in speaking. Thanks, PoP for setting the record straight as well as for Rachael’s insights. BTW, I heard that Bell will be having a carwash this weekend.

  • So the old Bell is finally being torn down. I worked there several years ago for summer school. Actually, the building inside was in better shape than a lot of DC public schools, including the above mentioned Powell. That summer, I taught ESL to recently arrived immigrant kids from mostly Central America. Some kid who wasn’t my student kept knocking on my door, trying to bother one of my female students during class. I told him to go away, to see her after school. I remembered his last name, as it had been the name of someone I knew. That fall, I read in the Post how a young man was shot on the playground between Bell and Lincoln and that someone had been taken into custody. It was the same guy who had been knocking at my door.

  • Is the soccer field going in now? And will it be available for public use?

  • Toby,
    It was originally built as Powell Junior High School – have a look at the inscription above the door in this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/2356462132/
    Only later did it become the Bell school.

  • Mr. T, this is quite interesting. If it was Powell Junior High, it must have been in the 60s or before. The Lincoln that was destroyed a few years ago was built as a junior high in the 70s. The Bell building on Hiatt Place was Bell Vocational. What is now known as Bell Multicultural grew out of a program called MCIP (Multicultural Intern Program, I think) in the 80s. It mostly served teenagers from EL Salvador and other immigrant youth, giving them career counseling, apprenticeships and some bilingual classes. Before getting the Bell building shown in the picture, MCIP shared space with Lincoln on their first floor. Bell later got incorporated into DCPS by its founder Maria Tukeva years later (in the late 80s or 90s) as Bell Multicultural High School and took over the site from the career center. Now they have the beautiful building on 16th Street, again with Lincoln and their old site is being demolished.

  • This is very regrettable — this building has character and should have been adaptively reused. Where have the preservation leaders been? — this is DC, not Reston!

  • You have good sentiments, Mark, but the old Bell building was not too noteworthy inside. From what I remember, it had been gutted inside and rebuilt with remodeled classrooms, no cafeteria or auditorium. Some other really old DCPS buildings are gorgeous, but have been poorly kept and are unair conditioned. The old Barnard was torn down and a brand new Barnard built a few years ago, with the old facade used on the 4th Street entrance.

  • a shame. regardless of the shape of the interior, that building could have been saved and readapted for a new use. destroying a perfectly stable structure isn’t very green and i don’t think is good planning.

  • I stand corrected. The building in itself could have been kept and converted into something else. Now that I think about it, it could have been renovated and even turned into a charter school, offices for non-profits or for-profits, anything. It does seem like a waste of, as you say, a perfectly stable structure.

  • Toby;
    Lincoln JH was opened, not in the 70s, but around the autumn of 1967. I was among the first students to go there. Due to overcrowding at Bancroft ES the entire 6th grade class (me included) was moved to Lincoln. The following spring was whn Martin Luther King, Jr was killed and the subsequent rioting and instution of martial law closed the school for several days because of it’s proximity to 14th Street.

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