A view of the school in 2012 by Jerrye and Roy Klotz on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Sydenstricker School interior by Ser Amantio de Nicolao on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Backstory and Context
Springfield, Virginia originally had a one-room schoolhouse for use by the children in the community, built in 1901. The schoolhouse, Pohick School #8, burned to the ground on July 12th, 1928. After the event, a bid was put up for the construction of a new schoolhouse, and it was decided that William Beauregard Wooster would be responsible for the school’s construction. Wooster had already worked the construction of several other schoolhouses in the area, and so he was a good fit for the position. The construction went quickly, and on October 19th of that year, construction on the building was completed. A month later, the school officially opened.
The school building sits on one acre of land, near a cemetery and chapel. A class room and a cloak room make up the interior of the space, measuring about 870 square feet total. The structure is parallel to Hooes Road, and is not to be confused with the still-operating Sydenstricker School, which is under a mile away on Sydenstricker Road in Springfield. Originally the schoolhouse was painted yellow, then white, but is now red with white trim and a white belfry.
The newly-built school educated students for a brief period of time, but in 1934, the school closed and the students were transferred to Burke School. The community made an effort to get the school re-opened, and in 1937, it did re-open to offer first- through fourth-grade education. Just as quickly as it re-opened, however, the school closed for good in 1939. Even though the building was no longer used as a school, members of the community still frequented the building as an informal community center, and in 1954, the Upper Pohick Community League bought the building to convert it into a proper community center.
Fairfax County recognized the school as a historic landmark in 1971. On June 21st, 2012, it was designated on the Virginia Landmark Register, and on August 22nd, 2012, the Historic Sydenstricker Schoolhouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the schoolhouse continues to serve as a community association for Springfield.
National Register of Historic Places. Sydenstricker School. August 22, 2012. Accessed August 16, 2016. hhttp://www.dhr.Virginia.gov/registers/Counties/Fairfax/029-0154_Sydenstricker_School_2012-2015_NRHP_FINAL.pdf
National Park Service. Back To School: Sydenstricker School, Fairfax County, Virginia, National Register of Historic Places. Accessed December 23rd 2019. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/school/2012/Sydenstricker_School.htm.