Foggy Bottom in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC
—728 23rd Street, NW —
St. Mary’s was the first Episcopal church in Washington where African Americans could worship free of discrimination. It was established in 1867 by 28 men and women, many of them formerly enslaved. Two White congregations, St. John’s Church and Church of the Epiphany, worked with founders to establish St. Mary’s. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton donated the chapel from a decommissioned Civil War hospital, and another benefactor donated this lot. The present (1887) building was designed by White architect James Renwick, Jr., and features a stained glass window from the Tiffany studio. St. Mary’s was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Photo caption: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church choir, 1900. Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library
listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was the first Black Episcopal church built in the City of Washington.
Saint Mary’s represents a landmark in the history of the Black American struggle for equal rights and human dignity, as its original name implied, “St. Mary’s Chapel for Colored People” was a place where Black people could worship without being subjected to discriminatory rules.
The opening service of St. Barnabas Mission
This late Victorian-style structure was designed by James Renwick. The opening service in this building was held on January 20, 1887. With minor exceptions, the buildings have not been altered since the opening service.
in the City of Washington
Created by Protestant Episcopal Church Diocese of Washington
in convention May 12, 1927
the Right Reverend James E. Freeman, Bishop
This tablet provided by
The Mattingly Family
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington, D.C. African American Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 53.943′ N, 77° 3.018′ W. Marker is in Foggy Bottom, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 23rd Street, NW south of H Street, NW, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 728 23rd Street, NW, Washington DC 20037, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The American Meridian (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Leonard A. Grimes (about 500 feet away); Aleksandr Pushkin (about 500 feet away); Pembroke College, Oxford, Coat of Arms (about 700 feet away); Benito Juárez Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); GW's River Horse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ingrid Bergman (approx. 0.2 miles away); Announcement of the Atomic Age (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Foggy Bottom.
1. National Register of Historic Places:
St. Mary's Episcopal Church ** (added 1973 - - #73002118)
Also known as St. Mary's Chapel
• Historic Significance: Architecture/Engineering
• Architect, builder, or engineer: Renwick,Aspinwall & Russell
• Architectural Style: Gothic
• Area of Significance: Architecture
• Period of Significance: 1875-1899
• Owner: Private
• Historic Function: Religion
• Historic Sub-function: Religious Structure
• Current Function: Religion
— Submitted September 10, 2011.
Categories. • African Americans • Churches, Etc. • Civil Rights • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 6, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 695 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on September 6, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 7, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.