Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shaw 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 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)
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
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.

Marker by Events DC in cooperation with Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, District Department of Transportation, and Cultural Tourism DC.
©2014, Events DC

 
Erected 2014 by Events DC.
 
Location. 38° 54.252′ N, 77° 1.32′ W. Marker is in Shaw, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 7th Street NW near L Street NW, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1100 7th Street NW, Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Remembering "the Village" (here, next to 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); Blanche K. Bruce House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shaw.
 
Categories. Churches & Religion
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 21, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 21, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A clear close-up photo of the marker's reverse. • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement