Restoring Crummell School: A Community Development Forum


Community development experts speak to finance, design of possible workforce development site.

On Wednesday, October 24th at 6:30 PM, Empower DC and the Ivy City Civic Association will hold an event aimed to inspire the redevelopment of the long-vacant Alexander Crummell School, a historic site currently considered at-risk.  Restoring Crummell School: A Community Development Forum brings together a host of community development experts to explore how the school could be repurposed to house education and job training programs to serve the community, as long advocated by residents and currently recommended in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

In recent years the Ivy City community has seen investment in its housing stock, with over 58 new units nearing completion by nonprofit developers Manna Inc, Mi Casa and DC Habitat for Humanity.  Yet the centerpiece and civic heart of the community, the Alexander Crummell School, continues to sit vacant.  Long-time residents, newcomers and investors all agree restoring Crummell School for active public use is central to the revitalization of the Ivy City community.

“City First Enterprises has been following the affordable housing investments in Ivy City,” said Executive Director David Wilkinson, “and we are happy to share our community development finance expertise and outline how the restoration of the Crummell School could be structured.”

The forum aims to elevate the discussion about the fate of the Crummell School towards talk of implementing the community’s long-established vision for a central community space to provide services that uplift area residents.  Through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development participated in a study last year that showed 36% of Ivy City and Trinidad residents lacked a High School diploma or equivalent, and 11% are unemployed. Ward 5 has the third highest unemployment in DC after Wards 7 and 8.

“Several organizations that serve the needs of residents like those who live in Ivy City are looking for a shared home from which to provide adult education and job training and placement services,” said Marina Streznewski, Executive Director of the DC Jobs Council.  “Crummell School could be a potential home for such a group. On behalf of The Work Place DC, I am excited to be part of this discussion.”

The forum will include a short film about the history of Crummell School, presentations from panelists representing City First Enterprises, Work Place DC and Stoiber and Associates, an architecture firm, and a moderated discussion.  Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie is expected to attend.
Restoring Crummell School takes place Wednesday, October 24th from 6:30-8:30 PM at Bethesda Baptist Church located in Ivy City at 1808 Capitol Ave, NE, near the intersection of Mt Olivet Rd and West Virginia Ave, NE.

For decades the residents of Ivy City have advocated for the restoration and reopening of  Alexander Crummell School for public use.   This forum is an opportunity for the Ivy City community and its partners to share their vision for a future Crummell with DC residents from communities across the city.  To that end…

Empower DC and the Ivy City Civic Association invite you to attend:


Wednesday, October 24th
6:30-8:30 PM
Bethesda Baptist Church – Fellowship Hall
1808 Capitol Ave, NE

During the forum, a team of experts will explore possible avenues for making the community’s vision for Crummell School realized.

City First Enterprises, Community Development Finance experts
Stoiber & Associates, Architects
Christina Ditto, Interior Designer
Ms. Remetter C. Freeman, Crummell Alumna
Marina Streznewski, Work Place DC
Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5 Councilman (invited)

Andria Swanson – (202) 234-9119 x 107, or
Parisa Norouzi – Empower DC (202) 234-9119 x 100,

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