Saint John’s Church, Georgetown

This Episcopal church became an important site for the Georgetown community of the early 1800s.

Construction started on Saint John's Church in 1796, building on land that had originally been purchased and set aside by the Church of England in 1769. The church's exterior, designed in the Federal style by Architect of the Capitol William Thornton, was completed around 1804, but the church was not consecrated until the interior was completed in 1809. The Episcopal church became an important site in early Georgetown.

After years of growth followed by years of financial problems, St. John’s was closed in 1831, sold and rented as a studio for the German sculptor Ferdinand Pettrich. In 1838, a group of young ladies from the parish raised $50 to purchase the church building and return it to sacred use. A year later, improvements were made, including the installation of a new organ and a new tower entrance. Additional enhancements followed in 1843 with the enlargement of the church, the addition of a basement lecture room, and a baptismal font in the center front. Six years later, the parish commissioned a new pulpit, began improvements to altar rails, added a reading desk, a communion table of black Egyptian marble, a replacement organ, and a bell in the steeple.

Repairs and renovations to the church had been carried out periodically over the last thirty years.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
Within Georgetown Historic District



3240 O Street, NW