By Southwester Staff

The Rubell Museum’s exterior preserves the history of Randall School. Courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle

With the historic Randall School building on I Street SW re-opened to the public as the newly renovated Rubell Museum DC, the DC History Center is kicking off an effort to gather, preserve and share the history of the Randall School in Southwest DC. The project will culminate with the installation of a series of displays in the new courtyard of the former school building.

“Our goal with this effort is to share some of the personal stories of the everyday people who were students, teachers and residents in the neighborhood before urban renewal, to make this history a part of the building’s new life as a museum. While the building has been beautifully restored, it is the story of those impacted and influenced by it that is most important” said Mark Rivers, Executive Vice President for Lowe, the developer of the Randall School redevelopment project.

The DC History Center held two community meetings this fall to gather stories and testimonials from neighborhood residents, as well as individual interviews at the Southwest Library. The organization identifies as the only community-based nonprofit focused on the District of Columbia’s history, and works to preserve and elevate the stories of Washington’s diverse people, neighborhoods, and institutions.

“The story of the Randall School is one of endurance and perseverance,” said Laura Brower Hagood, DC History Center Executive Director. “So much of the Southwest neighborhood that once stood is gone now, but the school building remains and will soon see new life. This project will ensure that the stories of the people who lived, worked, and learned here are preserved and shared, even as the neighborhood continues to change.”

The stories collected by the project will become part of a series of displays to be installed in the  courtyard between the new Rubell Museum and its adjacent apartment building, Gallery 64. The courtyard will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To contribute stories, memories, photos or other input to the project, contact Maggie Downing at 

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