St. John
St. John's College

St. John
St. John's College, from Portland Flats

St. John
St. John's College


St. John's College (73)

Thomas Circle, Vermont Avenue between M and N Streets, NW
Constructed in 1880, tower addition in 1889, demolished 1960

The Christian Brothers, who led St. Matthew's Institute, commissioned Cluss and Frederick Daniel to build a new structure on Vermont Avenue between M and N streets in 1877 and after they had tried unsuccessfully to buy the St. Matthew's Institute building. The project was realized by Cluss and Schulze in 1879/80.

The new brick structure with a marble fašade on Thomas Circle was named St. John's College. It was a four-story building, with half occupied by the brothers and half for classrooms, gymnasium, and chapel. The fourth floor contained an exhibition hall with seating for 1400 people.

The classrooms differed from those in the public schools Cluss designed; they were smaller with desks for 30 students and had glass walls separating the classrooms. The grounds to the rear of the school, the Washington Post reported, "are tastefully laid out in walks which wind in and out among a wealth of shrubbery, evergreens and flowers, showing an eye to the beautiful as well as the practical."

The cost of the building and grounds was estimated at $30,000. Cluss also designed a tower edition in 1889. In the 1940s, St. John's College moved to its present location on Military Road. The Vermont Avenue building was razed in 1960.

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