The Mount Washington School was constructed in three separate building campaigns between 1903 and 1924. Mount Washington was a small town located between Kansas City and Independence, Missouri that was annexed to the City of Independence in the mid-twentieth century. The Mount Washington community constructed a four-room brick school building in 1903. An addition in 1910 doubled the size of the school. The Kansas City School District annexed Mount Washington School in 1911. Enrollment continued to grow, and the district constructed a large addition in 1924 to provide additional classrooms, a gymnasium, auditorium, library, and offices. Mount Washington School closed in 2007.
Sherman Associates purchased the building in 2012 to rehabilitate it into affordable housing for seniors. Rosin Preservation prepared the National Register nomination and facilitated the historic tax credit process. One of the challenges of the project was providing accessibility throughout the complex, which has misaligned floor levels. Elevators and lifts were sensitively located to provide wheelchair access throughout the building. The gym was converted to apartments, retaining the character-defining glazed brick on the perimeter walls, enormous windows, and the exposed trusses at the ceiling. The library and the auditorium were retained and rehabilitated as common amenity spaces. Classrooms were divided into apartments and some built-in cabinets and chalk boards were retained to convey the feeling of a classroom. The non-historic windows were replaced with new energy-efficient windows that have the same multi-light configuration as the historic windows, which were visible in historic photos.
The $10.6 rehabilitation of this historic school provides forty-five affordable apartments for the area’s seniors. The retention of the building’s historic fabric contributes to the character of the surrounding residential neighborhood.
570 S. Evanston Avenue Independence, MO