Saint Aloysius Catholic Church

St. Aloysius Catholic Church is located at the northwest corner of I and North Capitol Streets, N.W., in a section of Washington which is undergoing substantial change as residential structures are replaced by large high rise office buildings.

Attached to the church at the west is its rectory erected in 1887. At the north an alley separates the church from a parochial school. The church which was constructed between 1857 and 1859 is a Renaissance Revival design and, as such, is unusual as most mid century churches have Gothic derivations The simplicity of St. Aloysius' exterior gives little indication of the elaborate decoration of the interior, yet is in harmony with it.

The basilica church with handsome interior decoration was erected in 1857-59. It was designed by Father Benedict Sestini (1816-1890), a Jesuit priest who was a well-known mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. The building's restrained Renaissance Revival design is unusual as most churches erected at the time were in the Gothic Revival style. Over the altar and the chapel are paintings by Constantino Brumidi (1805-1880), the artist of the frescoes on the dome of the U.S. Capitol. The church is part of a Jesuit complex including Gonzaga College and several parochial schools. Father Burchard Villiger was the motivating force behind the founding of St. Aloysius as a parish church of the Jesuit Fathers of Georgetown College,

DC Inventory: March 7, 1968
National Register: July 26, 1973



North Capitol & I Streets, NW