Quinn Evans Architects re-purposed this historic urban school and expanded the facility through an efficient and elegant design to create a high-performance educational facility that exemplifies green design.  

The multi-faceted modernization program restores the grandeur of the original 1909 historic structure, renovates a 1960’s classroom wing, and incorporates a contemporary addition for a new gymnasium, auditorium, and dining hall. Together, these design interventions transform what was a neglected resource into a 21st century learning environment.


  • Renovated and designed expansion of urban neighborhood school
  • High-performance, 21st century learning environment
  • 32,775 sf renovation; 9,100 sf addition
  • First DC Public School certified LEED for Schools 2.0 Gold
  • Originally built in 1909

© Jeffrey Katz Photography

First in Class: Sustainability

With a Gold Certification, H.D. Cooke is the first LEED for Schools certified project completed for the District of Columbia Public Schools and one of the first historic schools to be certified nationally under this LEED program. The existing building fabric provided some of the most sustainable aspect of the project: refinished wood floors and frames, interior masonry bearing walls, and original window openings and skylights are just a few. Through sustainable preservation, this project serves as a model for transforming neglected historic urban schools into high performance 21st century educational facilities which exemplify the best in both preservation and green design.

Knitting with Historic Fabric

Much of the original school’s historic architectural fabric was preserved and enhanced through the project. Classrooms within the historic school are equipped with learning technologies and capitalize on the original tall ceilings and large windows that fill these spaces with natural light. Ornamental marble stairs, terrazzo flooring, coffered ceilings, glass sidelites and transoms, and ornamental railings were all restored. The second floor balcony overlooking the media center was reopened and a pyramid skylight was reinstalled per the original school design to create a memorable light-filled learning space that is the heart of the revitalized school.

© Jeffrey Katz Photography

© Jeffrey Katz Photography© Jeffrey Katz Photography© Jeffrey Katz Photography© Jeffrey Katz Photography