Looking Back: Campus History

Sidwell Friends has been presented with an historic opportunity to realize Thomas Sidwell’s vision for one campus. Repurposing the Washington Home will allow us to bring the Lower School back to the District and create shared spaces for the entire faculty and student body.

– Head of School Bryan Garman

1883: Thomas W. Sidwell opens Friends' Select School in the back of a Quaker meeting house at 1811 Eye Street.

1910: Sidwell purchases residence at 3901 Wisconsin Avenue. Grounds are used for student recreational activities.

1922: A Lower School building is constructed on the Wisconsin Avenue property.

1936: Thomas Sidwell dies. His school is placed under the care of a Board of Trustees.

1938: The Eye Street campus is sold to Doctors Hospital, and all classes and activities are consolidated on the Wisconsin Avenue campus.

1945: The School sells 3939 Wisconsin Avenue to National Radio Institute to purchase a 10-acre tract across Wisconsin Avenue for athletic use.

1955: The School sells athletic fields across Wisconsin Avenue and purchases a Federal stone structure known as The Highlands. The building currently houses the school administration.

1963: Sidwell Friends purchases 5100 Edgemoor Lane in Bethesda and moves the Lower School to the 5.5-acre property.

1964: The High School (formerly the Sidwell residence) is demolished and a new building is constructed for grades 9-12.

1981: The Robert P. and Arlene R, Kogod Center for the Arts is built.

2006: The new Middle School opens as the first LEED Platinum K-12 school building in the world.

2007: A LEED Gold gym and classroom building open on the Bethesda campus.

2010: A LEED Gold Athletic Center is constructed below the football field .

2011: The Kenworthy Gymnasium, built in 1958, is repurposed as a LEED Platinum Quaker Meeting House with arts classrooms.