General Oliver Otis Howard House -Washington DC


General Oliver Otis Howard House
NPS Photo

The General Oliver Otis Howard House is located on the campus of Howard University. Constructed between 1867 and 1869, it was the home of Major General Oliver Otis Howard, the founder of the school and its first President from 1869 to 1873. The house still retains many of its decorative elements such as the high mansard roof, elaborate dormer windows, tower, and decorative iron balustrades. The Board of Howard University was able, through General Howard, to purchase a one-acre lot including a frame building to begin operation of the school. The Howard House was among the first buildings constructed. Although the Trustees voted to give General Howard a lot upon which to build a residence, he instead purchased the lot for $1,000.

Howard University, c. 1869
From the collections of the Historical Society of Washington, DC.

In 1909, when the University began to expand, the Howard House was purchased. The house has had varied uses over the past century. For example, between 1936–1942, the Howard House was the home of Miss Lulu V. Childers, and served as the Conservatory of Music which she directed. From 1967 to 1972, the African Language Center and African Studies Department were located there. The building presently is used for conferences and special events.

General Oliver Otis Howard House is located on the Howard University Campus at 2401 Sixth St., NW. It is not open to the public. Metro stop: Shaw/Howard U.