Two properties bordering the Wisconsin Avenue campus of Sidwell Friends School recently became available for purchase. These two locations—the Washington Home on Upton Street NW and Fannie Mae’s Johnson Building at 3939 Wisconsin Avenue—offer the School an unprecedented opportunity to unify its two campuses and enhance the presence of Quaker education in Washington, DC.
The Sidwell Friends Board of Trustees signed an agreement to buy the Washington Home property in September 2015. This purchase would allow the School to have all students and teachers, PK–12, on a single campus for the first time since 1963, when the Lower School moved to Bethesda.
In September 2016, the Board of Trustees agreed to purchase 3939 Wisconsin Avenue, known as the Johnson Building, from Fannie Mae. This property, which the School had previously owned but sold in 1945, will be leased back to Fannie Mae for at least two years.
Plans for the properties are in development and are contingent on zoning approval and philanthropic support. The School has launched a strategic planning process to gather input from the School community and neighbors about the future of the two sites.
My parents met at Friends 84 years ago when it was located on Eye Street, and as a student I played on athletic fields across Wisconsin Avenue. No matter the location, Sidwell Friends has remained grounded in Quaker values and high education standards. Unifying the campuses again will strengthen the School's ability to better serve students for generations to come. – Terry Eakin '62
September 2015: Board approves the final terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement with the Washington Home.
February 23, 2015: Final ANC 3F meeting to gain endorsement for the purchase of the Washington Home.
March 1, 2016: DC Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing held for special exception application (for a school to be operated on the new property).
Summer 2016: BZA approval is given and written order is completed.
September 10, 2016: Board approves the final terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement with Fannie Mae for 3939 Wisconsin Avenue and a 30-day study period commences.
September 2016: Board of Trustees’ strategic planning process commences.
November 30, 2016: Sidwell Friends takes ownership of 3939 Wisconsin Avenue NW.
December 15, 2016: Sidwell Friends takes ownership of the Washington Home property.
June 2017: Anticipated completion of strategic planning process.