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Saint Mary's Episcopal Church

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1886, James Renwick, Jr. 730 23rd St. NW
  • Saint Mary's Episcopal Church (Franz Jantzen)

This little-known architectural treasure was designed by James Renwick, Jr., who undertook the church for an African-American congregation. In order to reduce costs, Renwick modified his original plans, lowering walls, simplifying the roof truss, and omitting much decorative detail. Within the restricted budget and the requirement that the church, offices, and living quarters be placed on the perimeter of the site, Renwick provided an ensemble of red brick Gothic buildings and connecting walls. The low lines of the facade are accented by the picturesque tower with its well-proportioned entrance. A central courtyard unites the elements of the ensemble. The overall massing of gables and towers, embellished with terracotta panels and stained-glass windows, provides a pleasing picturesque effect.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Saint Mary's Episcopal Church", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 214-214.

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