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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mount Vernon Square in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Roots of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Midcity at the Crossroads

 

—Shaw Heritage Trail —

 
Roots of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, April 20, 2018
1. Roots of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral Marker
Inscription.  In 1904 members of Washington, DC's "Greek Colony" — mostly recently arrived immigrant men — held the city's first Greek Orthodox church service above a warehouse on Indiana Avenue near Seventh Street, NW. In the years that followed, they held religious services in various rented locations including the former Adas Israel synagogue, then at Sixth and G Streets, NW. Yearning for a home of their own, the congregation purchased land in 1913 at what was a northeast corner of Eighth and L Streets, approximately where the door to the Convention Center is on the block to your left.

Seven years later, with a congregation of 500, Bishop (later Archbishop) Alexander Rodostolou laid the cornerstone for Saint Sophia, the first Greek Orthodox church built in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. The basement was completed first, and services were held there staring in 1921. Three years later the entire edifice, with its Byzantine style interior, was dedicated.

During World War II, hundreds of sons of Saint Sophia served in the U.S. armed forces, and 14 paid the supreme sacrifice. Thousands of servicemen and women of
Roots of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, April 20, 2018
2. Roots of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral Marker
the period enjoyed Saint Sophia's hospitality in USO-type programs provided by the parish.

The Saint Sophia parish remained on Eight Street for 34 years, with Father (later Bishop) Aimilianos Laloussis serving as pastor for most of that time. By 1955 the congregation had outgrown its building, so the church was sold to Rehobeth Baptist Congregation, and the parish moved to its current home on upper Massachusetts Avenue NW. The original immigrant congregation had changed considerably by the time of the move, when the majority were American families of Greek descent.
 
Erected 2014 by Events DC.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Shaw Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.252′ N, 77° 1.32′ W. Marker is in Mount Vernon Square, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 7th Street Northwest near L Street Northwest, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1100 7th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Remembering "the Village" (here, next to this marker); The Place to Shop (a few steps from this marker); Words and Deeds (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Central Public Library (about 600 feet away); Reaching for Equality (about 600 feet away); For the Working People (about 700 feet away); “Sweet Daddy” Grace (about 700 feet away); Power Brokers (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mount Vernon Square.
 
Categories. Churches & Religion
 
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Credits. This page was last revised on May 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 21, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on March 8, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 21, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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