Washington Heights History

Washington Heights School from 1950

Educational roots

The building was originally constructed as a schoolhouse more than 120 years ago and is listed in the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.

The Washington Heights School opened in 1898 and expanded twice to accommodate the growing community. It was the oldest continuously operating school in Lakewood when it closed in 1968.

Washington Heights Class circa 1910-1913

Since that time, the building was used for a variety of purposes before becoming Lakewood’s Washington Heights Arts Center in 1998.

A continued educational focus

Since 1998, Washington Heights Arts Center has enriched the community by offering a variety of cultural arts educational opportunities for all ages and abilities. Classes in pottery, weaving, drawing, painting, papermaking, jewelry and metals, mosaics and more are offered.

Recent renovations

In 2019, an infrastructure improvement project took place to ensure the longevity of the historic building.

Facility updates were made while retaining the historical and architectural integrity of the building. The rehabilitation and maintenance efforts were guided by a building assessment conducted in October 2015.

Much of this work resulted in unseen improvements such as floor framing upgrades, a new heating and cooling system, fire system upgrades and exterior drainage. Visible improvements included new flooring in the pottery studio, a new sink in the art studio and new office space for arts center staff.