1975 Yearbook Cover
1975 Yearbook Cover
  • History

GDS's Building History

Since our founding in 1945, Georgetown Day School has called eight different locations “home.” We began with all of our students in one place, and as of Fall 2020, we are all together once again.
G Place - January 1945 (rented)

G Place: January 1945 (rented)

Aggie O’Neil opened GDS—the first integrated school in the District—as an elementary school in a small townhouse in what is now Chinatown, in founding partnership with seven families and twelve children. Always planned as a short-term solution, the ultimate hope was to eventually relocate the school within the bounds of Georgetown where Aggie lived—hence the school’s name.
Grasslands - 4001 Nebraska Avenue 1946-1956 (rented)

Grasslands (4001 Nebraska Avenue): 1946–1956 (rented)

A year later, the school moved to a rambling mansion on ten acres of land now occupied by NBC. Still not in Georgetown, Grasslands was a magical and happy place. But we never owned Grasslands, and the maintenance on the older building proved taxing.
5005 MacArthur Boulevard - 1956-1965 (owned)

5005 MacArthur Boulevard: 1956–1965 (owned)

The first building we purchased, 5005 was almost too small from the moment we moved in. Close to parks and the Potomac, the school still offered the freedom to explore the outdoors that Grasslands provided, but in a more modern building.
4530 MacArthur Boulevard (LMS) - 1965-present (owned)

4530 MacArthur Boulevard (LMS): 1965–June 2020 (owned)

Our first truly permanent home, 4530 was built under the caring eyes of second Head of School Edith Nash. Starting as K-9th grade, the original building was designed to be a “place to explore and use.” And, as the grades it housed changed and the student population increased, the building expanded over the years to include more gathering spaces and state-of-the-art facilities.
Keegans Hardware MacArthur Boulevard (HS) - 1970-1971 (rented)

Keegan’s Hardware (MacArthur Boulevard) (HS): 1970–1971 (rented)

When then-parent and school assistant Gladys Stern spoke with Edith about establishing a GDS high school, the first stop for the expanding grades was this small former hardware store.
Mt. Vernon College (HS) - 1971-1973 (rented)

Mt. Vernon College (HS): 1971–1973 (rented)

The high school quickly outgrew the small rented space at Keegan’s and moved to quarters on the campus of Mt. Vernon College on Foxhall Road (today The George Washington University Mount Vernon campus). We got a little bit more room and celebrated our first high school graduation in 1971.
4880 MacArthur Boulevard (HS) - 1973-1985 (owned)

4880 MacArthur Boulevard (HS): 1973–1985 (owned)

As our high school program grew we returned to MacArthur Boulevard, this time to one building, which is now part of the River School. GDS bought and developed the apartment building and space behind it to continue the expansion.
4200 Davenport Street (HS) - 1986-present (owned)

4200 Davenport Street (HS): 1987–present (owned)

Our permanent high school campus, the final of four sites, 4200 was shepherded through development by third Head of School Gladys Stern and expanded in 2005 by fourth Head of School Peter Branch.
Rendering of new One GDS campus

One GDS at 4200 Davenport Street: Fall 2020–present (owned)

No matter where we’ve called “school” each day, we’ve called it “home” because we’ve had each other. Starting in the fall of 2020, GDS's Lower School, Middle School, and High School were joined on one campus. The chance for us all to be together, grades PK–12, in one location was in the works for 45 years. We’re excited to have this opportunity to finally fulfill the vision of One GDS.