Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Excess Schools - Grimke

The Grimke School, located on Vermont Avenue NW near U St., is one of the most desirable locations for potential arts use in decommissioned schools. The school is right across the street from the METRO stop at 10th and U and is currently used by Fire/EMS and the Department of Corrections.

Several years ago the DC Office of Planning crafted the DUKE Plan, a framework for a Cultural Destination for Greater Shaw/U Street. The full report can be found HERE and the pages specific to the Grimke area, labeled the African American Civil War Memorial Sub-district, can be found HERE.

I was able to tour the space back in the summer and found an intact gymnasium space that could easily house a large performance space. The gym floor has substantial water damage, so the roof might need replacement, but otherwise its in good shape. The rest of the school has been carved up into offices for the Fire Department, etc. Artist studios would be an easy retrofit.

The African American Civial War Museum, headed by Frank Smith, is also a potential tenant.