Designed by R.G. Russel in the High Victorian Gothic style, this large red brick building stands as the only nonresidential building in the Logan Circle Historic District, and is the only structure listed as a designated landmark in its own right.
After extensive planning, the building was constructed between 1882 and 1884 as the Vermont Avenue Christian Church. President James A. Garfield stood as a member of the congregation and served on the building committee--after his assasination in 1881, the site was dedicated in his honor. Two years after his death, his widow, Lucretia R. Garfield, donated the rose window that stretches over the entryway and choir loft.
Various congregations passed through and used the church, with the current group (Mount Olivet) acquiring the property in 1953. The members of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement, hosting Martin Luther King Jr., distributing food and supplies after the 1960s Riots, and participating in the Solidarity Day Parade.
Today, the Mount Olivet Lutheran Church continues to operate as a place of spiritual engagement and community support.