- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2001

A wrecking ball yesterday began pounding the abandoned and boarded remains of the city's last women-only jail to make way for a new private school for disadvantaged youth.
The Woman's Bureau or the Women's Detention Center a few of the names the building at North Capital and K streets NE was known by is being demolished to make way for the new Washington Jesuit Academy, slated to be completed in 18 months.
The academy a private preparatory junior high school for disadvantaged inner-city boys and girls will feature a rigorous and structured curriculum designed to prepare students for private high schools.
Across the street is the private preparatory Jesuit Gonzaga College High School for students in grades 9 through 12. The 185-year-old school is the oldest school within the city's old federal boundaries. The two schools are not connected.
Officials from the Washington Jesuit Academy declined to comment or give further detail on the new academy, pending a formal announcement of the project next Tuesday.
The jail, built in 1961, belonged to the D.C. police department for five years before being used in 1966 to house 42 women awaiting trial in the Women's Bureau, according to the 1966 and 1967 annual reports of the D.C. Department of Corrections.
In 1967, women convicted of crimes were transferred from the jail in Lorton and housed in the building. The Woman's Reformatory, as that program was known, housed 66 women as of June 30, 1967, the annual reports said.
The jail closed when the new facility in Southeast was completed in 1976. Female inmates were then transferred to the D.C. Jail.
"In the late 1980s, the building was used as a community corrections center and halfway house for 148 inmates. The building was closed in 1997 and the city took over responsibility soon after, said Bill Meeks, a corrections department spokesman.

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