St. John's Episcopal Church, Georgetown

St. John's Episcopal Church, Georgetown is a parish of the Episcopal Church located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Original plans for the church date to 1769, and the parish church was officially founded by Walter Dulany Addison in 1796. The church building was designed by architect William Thornton in the Federal style and was structurally completed in 1804, to be consecrated in 1809.

St. John's Episcopal Church
St. John's Episcopal Georgetown DC.JPG
38°54′27″N 77°03′54″W / 38.90750°N 77.06500°W / 38.90750; -77.06500Coordinates: 38°54′27″N 77°03′54″W / 38.90750°N 77.06500°W / 38.90750; -77.06500
Location3240 O St. NW,
Washington, D.C. 20007
DenominationEpiscopal Church
Founded1796 (1796)
Founder(s)Walter Dulany Addison
Architect(s)William Thornton
DioceseEpiscopal Diocese of Washington


In 1769, the Church of England acquired land in Georgetown,[1] on which construction of the first Episcopal church in Georgetown began in 1796.[2] The exterior of the two-story building, measuring 42 feet (13 m) by 51 feet (16 m), was completed in 1804, while its interior continued to be outfitted until 1809,[1] when the church was consecrated. The building was designed by William Thornton, the architect of the Capitol,[3] in the Federal style. Its founder and first pastor was Rev. Walter Dulany Addison, who later became Chaplain of the United States Senate.[4] Numerous prominent men made financial contributions for the erection of the church, including Thomas Corcoran, Benjamin Stoddert, Francis Scott Key (who later wrote "The Star Spangled Banner, America's national anthem),[5] and future President of the United States Thomas Jefferson.[2][6]

In 1817,[7] St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square was founded as an outgrowth of St. John's, Georgetown.[8] The church began suffering financial problems which led to its disestablishment in 1831. The building was sold to Ferdinand Pettrich, who used it as a sculpting studio. Several women who were former parishioners of the church raised $50, which allowed them to purchase the church back in 1838. The church underwent several expansions, and interior improvements in the subsequent years. Throughout the mid-19th century, major renovations of the church occurred, including the construction of the adjacent Sunday school in 1865, the complete gutting of the church in 1870, and the construction of the rectory in 1875. During this work, services were held in Georgetown Presbyterian Church. The belfry was redesigned in 1924, and a Chapel of the Carpenter was built in 1951.[1]

Educational programs for children have existed at the church since the mid-19th century. The current St. John's Episcopal Preschool was established in 1997.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Our History: St. John's Timeline". St. John's Episcopal Church, Georgetown. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Becker Jones, Devry (March 22, 2019). "St. John's Episcopal Church, Georgetown Parish". Historical Marker Database. Archived from the original on May 5, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  3. ^ Brown, Glenn (June 18, 1896). "History of the United States Capitol". American Architect and Architecture. American Architect: 99–102. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "U.S. Senate: Senate Chaplain". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  5. ^ "Francis Scott Key". National Park Service. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Thomas Jefferson". The White House. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  7. ^ "History". St. John's Church. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  8. ^ "Washington, DC Genealogy: Early Churches and Synagogues". USGenWeb Project. Archived from the original on September 5, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  9. ^ "History of St. John's". St. John's Episcopal Preschool. Archived from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2019.

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