Judiciary Square in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Lillian and Albert Small Jewish Museum
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington
— Civil War to Civil Rights, Downtown Heritage Trail —
was our whole life.”
Albert Small, born in the neighborhood in 1902.
This is the oldest surviving synagogue building in Washington. Constructed in 1875 by Adas Israel Congregation, and originally located at Sixth and G Streets, it served the German-Jewish immigrant shopkeepers in the neighborhood. Albert Small, a member of the congregation, grew up on Fifth Street and recalled that as a boy, “the neighborhood was our whole life [and] the synagogue was the focal point. We went to school at Seaton [Elementary], and we took our music lessons in St. Mary’s across the street from our house. We used to help in the family store two blocks away.”
When the congregation outgrew this sanctuary in 1906, a Greek Orthodox church and later a carry-out restaurant occupied the building. Threatened with demolition in 1969, the building was moved to its present location and restored as a museum bearing the name of its benefactors Lillian and Albert Small.
This historic synagogue symbolizes the rich immigrant history of the eastern section of Washington’s downtown.
The legacy of the neighborhood’s immigrant history surrounds you. Holy Rosary Catholic Church (founded about 1913 near its present site at Third and F Streets) served the surrounding Italian community. It still celebrates Mass in Italian. St. Mary’s Catholic Church (established in 1846), at Fifth and H Streets, founded by Germans, today holds Mass in Latin and Cantonese. St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (founded in 1794), and still located on its original site on Tenth Street between F and G, was established to serve Irish immigrants. And three former synagogues, on or near I Street, are now Baptist or African Methodist Episcopal churches serving African American congregations.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number e.8.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Asian Americans • Churches & Religion Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and the Downtown Heritage Trail series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1902.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 53.905′ N, 77° 0.905′ W. Marker was in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia. It was in Judiciary Square. Marker was at the intersection of G Street Northwest and 3rd Street Northwest, on the left when traveling east on G Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 701 3rd 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 location. On This Corner … (a few steps from this marker); Cristoforo Colombo (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Discover DC / Judiciary Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); Victims of Communism Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Victims of Communism Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Second Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial The National Building Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northwest Washington.
More about this marker. This marker was renumbered from e.4 to e.8 when the marker system expanded.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .
1. Our Lady of China. (Submitted on April 13, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Adas Israel, Washington, DC. (Submitted on April 14, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Wikipedia entry for the Washington Hebrew Congregation. (Submitted on April 14, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington; Italian Americans; Chinese Americans
Credits. This page was last revised on January 30, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,440 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 13, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2. submitted on June 7, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3, 4. submitted on April 13, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 5. submitted on April 14, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 6, 7. submitted on April 13, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.