Charles M. Robinson's Northern Virginia Schools

Born in Loudoun County in 1867, architect Charles Morrison Robinson established his firm in Richmond in the early 1900s. He designed hundreds of public-use buildings throughout Virginia, including hospitals, churches, college facilities and schoolhouses. One of his descendants has a site dedicated to his work, Charles M. Robinson: A Virginia Architectural History, and Wikipedia has also documented some of Robinson's contributions, drawing largely on his buildings included on the National Register.

My interest in Robinson began while researching a couple of public schools built in Northern Virginia in the early 20th century. This period is significant for the state's commitment to finally invest in public education, at least with regard to white students.

Once I became aware of Robinson's work and Charles M. Robinson: A Virginia Architectural History, I wondered how many of the schools he built around here are still standing. Now when I see an older school, I try to determine whether it's one of his. The schools below are ones he designed or could be attributed to him.

Bailey's Crossroads School Constructed around 1921 and demolished around 1972.

Bailey's Campus of George Mason College, 1963
Courtesy Richard Sparks Collection of George Mason University Special Collections & Archives

Herndon High Constructed in 1910-11, burned and rebuilt in 1920s, and with multiple additions, unlikely that any of the original structure exists.

Herndon High around 1912
Courtesy J. Berkley Green Collection of the Herndon Historical Society

Lucketts School Constructed in 1913 and now serves as the Lucketts Community Center.

Lucketts Community Center around 2008
Courtesy Loudoun County

Matthew F. Maury School Originally constructed as the Clarendon School in 1910 and renamed for Matthew Fontaine Maury in the 1920s, now serves as the Arlington Arts Center.

Matthew F. Maury School, about 1930
Courtesy Arlington Library

Prince Street School Originally constructed as the Lee School for Girls in 1908-09, it was renamed the Prince Street School and now serves as Virginia Tech's Washington Alexandria Architecture Center.

Lee School for Girls around 1911
Courtesy Alexandria Library Special Collections

West End School Constructed in 1908 and demolished in the mid-1930s.

West End School, about 1925
Courtesy George Washington Masonic Memorial

Wilson School Originally constructed as the Fort Myer Heights School in 1909-10, it was renamed for Woodrow Wilson in 1925 and today is home to the Mongolian School.

Fort Myer Heights School under construction around 1909-10
Courtesy Arlington Public Library