The William Syphax School is one of several elegant public school buildings designed by the local firm of Marsh and Peter in the District of Columbia between 1900 and 1910. It is located on the eastern edge of the
For the school, Marsh and Peter provided a rendition of the Colonial Revival based on a predictable plan of four classrooms arranged around a large central hallway on each floor. The front presents a symmetrical design with a recessed pavilion flanked by balanced pavilions three bays wide. The architects' skill in addressing this routine structure lies in subtle variations in brickwork, in decorative detail, and in the shapes and sizes of window openings. White terracotta belt courses, white keystones and springline blocks at the second-floor windows, and a wooden cornice painted white enliven the dark red of the walls. The oversized colonial door surround, the projecting wrought-iron balcony at the second floor, and the flat dormer window at the roof emphasize the center of the composition.