The Franklin School in downtown Washington has been empty for more than a decade, except for a brief period in 2011 when the Occupy Movement used it as a homeless shelter. One of the most significant historic structures in the city, and one of the most beautiful, the school was neglected and severely dilapidated. Preservationists have considered the brick building endangered since at least the 1970s, when the D.C. school board planned to tear it down.

On Thursday, the historical 1869 landmarked school will reopen, entirely refurbished and partly restored to its original condition, and once again serving something close to its original educational purpose. Planet Word, a museum devoted to language, is the new occupant, and it will pay the city $10 a year on a 99-year lease. The purpose of the $60 million museum, according to its gallery map, is to “inspire and renew a love of words, language, and reading in people of all ages.”