Convent of Bon Secours

This building, reminiscent of an Italianate villa, was erected in Tenleytown as the Washington chapter house for the Sisters of Bon Secours, a nursing order founded in France in 1824.

The order arrived in the United States in the 1880s, establishing itself in Baltimore. The first nuns came to Washington during the typhoid epidemic of 1905, and provided much needed nursing and home health care, particularly during the catastrophic outbreak of Spanish Flu after World War I.

The sisters first occupied the old rectory of the adjacent Saint Ann’s Church, and built this 2½-story buff brick convent in 1927-28. The design by Irish-born architect Maurice F. Moore clearly articulates its residential and religious aspects, with a hip-roofed main dormitory block, side chapel, diminutive arcaded tower, and rear loggias suggesting a Renaissance cloister. The convent helps document the history of women’s occupations, and reflects the importance of religious orders in the provision of outpatient health care. It is one of a group of prominent Catholic institutional buildings at Tenley Circle.

DC Inventory: January 29, 2004
National Register: November 19, 2004

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4101 Yuma Street, NW