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Unification Church (Washington Chapel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

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Washington Chapel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1932–1933, Don C. Young, Jr., and Ramm Hansen. 2810 16th St. NW
  • Unification Church (Washington Chapel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) (Franz Jantzen)

The architecture of the Mormon Chapel is associated in numerous ways with the history of this American-founded church: one of its architects, Don C. Young, was the grandson of Brigham Young; the mosaic of Christ on the Mount of Olives over the main entrances is by another of his grandsons, Mahonri Sharp Young. The exterior cladding, an unusual bird's-eye marble, was quarried in Utah, and the church's form and many of its details recall the mother church, the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City. From 16th Street the church appears to consist of a large attenuated block that forms the first stage in a four-part spire. It contains the sanctuary that is in front of a larger rectangular meeting hall that spreads out behind it, as in traditional Latin cross churches. The main entrance, however, is located in a north transept arm consisting solely of a foyer; a secondary entrance is opposite in a shallow octagonal bay containing a staircase. The exterior architectural articulation is an interesting fusion of stripped classical elements (pilasters carrying entablatures), medieval features (finials and embryonic buttresses), and modern decorative details abstracted from both traditions.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Unification Church (Washington Chapel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)", [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, 314-314.

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