You are here

Luther Place Memorial Church

-A A +A
1870–1883, Judson York. 1226 Vermont Ave. NW
  • (Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Judson York effectively combined rough quarry-faced, smooth-sawn, and carved red Seneca sandstone for the walls and decorative trim for his High Victorian Gothic Lutheran church. Its unusual plan and external forms respond to its acute triangular site with a hexagonal broach tower and needle spire facing Thomas Circle and bowed walls terminating in lower broached towers at the rear. Some subtle color variation occurs because of the differing textures of the stone; the original roof and spire would probably have been covered with multicolored slates laid in striated bands, a common feature of High Victorian Gothic buildings where massiveness was often combined with strong color changes. York contained the power of his sculptural forms and faceted surfaces by fragmenting each into a number of parts and carefully proportioning them to one another. The multitude of parts tends to distract one's attention from the fact that York designed a symmetrical church to sit on an irregular lot, with the 13th Street side shorter than the Vermont Avenue.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Luther Place Memorial 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, 295-295.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,