Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church

St. Mary's is the home of the first African-American Episcopal congregation in Washington, split from the Church of the Epiphany.

Erected in 1866-1867, St. Mary's was designed by the New York firm of Renwick, Aspinwall and Russell in the parish Gothic Revival style. The Reverend Alexander Crummell took charge of work at St. Mary's in 1873. Three years later he moved to St. Luke's and many members of the congregation went with him. After his departure, the character of the church changed, and a brick school was constructed in 1881 in back of the chapel where a variety of educational activities took place.

A building permit was issued in 1886 to the firm of Renwick, Aspinwall and Russell for the erection of the present St. Mary's Chapel. The new Chapel was formally opened by the Bishop of Maryland on January 20, 1887.

In 1960 all of the property which includes St. Mary's was granted to the vestry of St. Mary's church. The building contains a timber roof and Tiffany windows.

DC designation: March 28, 1972
National Register listing: April 2, 1973



730 23rd Street, NW