Peabody Early Childhood Education Center

Washington, District of Columbia

  • FIRM

    R. McGhee & Associates


    District of Columbia Public Schools / Department of General Services

  • AREA

    38,000 sq.ft.





The George Peabody School, situated within the Capitol Hill Historic District, opened in 1880 and is listed as a D.C. historic landmark. The five-story, wood-framed brick masonry building is one of the largest schoolhouse examples of its type in the District of Columbia and occupies a prominent position facing Stanton Park.
R. McGhee & Associates provided design ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$184.21FEATURED IN2016 Educational Interiors ShowcaseINTERIOR CATEGORYPre-K/Early Childhood Education for the complete rehabilitation and modernization of the Peabody School. The design focused on maximizing the efficiency of the pinwheel plan, re-installing the main hall as a gathering space, color-customizing floors for wayfinding, and coordinating exposed HVAC system elements with acoustical panels to control noise while maintaining high ceilings.
The energy-efficient light-harvesting system allowed deep clerestory lighting of the interior spaces while maintaining their historical character. A sensitively installed elevator provided ADA access and met historical requirements. New wood floors reinforce the warm interior look of classrooms.
The D.C. Historic Preservation, Commission of Fine Arts, and National Capital Planning Commission coordinated on the design with R. McGhee & Associates, which is seeking LEED Gold certification.