D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced this week his plan to turn the Franklin School downtown into a contemporary art museum. Dani Levinas, a prominent local businessman, arts leader and collector told the Post’s architecture critic, Philip Kennicott, that he is “very confident” he will be able to raise the funds to restore the building to modern standards.

The school once was nearly demolished. In 1968, almost 100 years after the school opened, the board of education considered selling the building, prompting furious opposition.

Franklin School in 1970, when the building was for sale and could have been torn down. (Post archives).

Nathaniel Landry, 9, looks over his sign at a rally to save Franklin School in April, 1972 (Post archives).

Arzella Woodland and John Henson, adult education students, talk with a former pupil, Dora Stern, right in April, 1972. (Post archives).

The building is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1996.

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