Washington Cathedral (Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and Close; National Cathedral)

This Protestant Episcopal cathedral, known as the "National Cathedral" or the "Washington Cathedral," has a distinct ecumenical character as it functions as the national church called for in the 1792 Plan of the Federal City.

The stone, English NeoGothic style building begun in 1907 and scheduled for completion in 1982 has a medieval structural system with masonry load-bearing walls and flying buttresses. However modern construction methods and interior systems are employed, resulting in a unique combination of old and new. The richly decorated cathedral is located in an informally planned and landscaped 57 acre. Close which also contains auxiliary buildings housing the educational institutions of the Cathedral Foundation.

The building consists of a long narrow rectangular mass (the 8-bay nave and the 5-bay chancel) intersected by a shorter rectangular mass (the 3-bay north transept and the 3-bay south transept). Above the crossing, rising 301' above grade, is the Gloria in Excelsis Tower. The side elevations are staggered. Between the flying buttresses of the nave are 18 foot high chapels and 45 foot high aisles covered by shed roofs.

The Cathedral's design reflects the early 20th century when an architect sought to create a new, but archaeologically correct, design by making a style of the past his own. The three architects of the Cathedral found their main source of inspiration in the late 14th century English Decorative Gothic style. Not only are decorative features of the style employed but also structural features.

Cathedral: Built 1907-17 (George F. Bodley, Henry Vaughan, architects); 1922-90 (Frohman, Robb & Little, architects)
Saint Alban's Church, Guild Hall, Rectory, & Satterlee Hall
Hearst Hall: Built 1900-01 (Robert W. Gibson, architect)
Saint Alban's School for Boys: Built from 1905
Saint Alban's Lower School: (Cram & Ferguson, architects)
Episcopal Church House: Built 1913-14 (Henry Vaughan, architect)
Cathedral Library: Built 1924-27 (Frohman, Robb & Little, architects)
Administration Building: Built 1928-29 (Frohman, Robb & Little, architects)
College of Preachers: Built 1928-29 (Frohman, Robb & Little, architects)
Pilgrim Steps and Bishop's Garden: Built 1928-32 (Mrs. G.C.F. Bratenahl, architect)
Deanery: Built 1953 (Walter G. Peter, architect)
Beauvoir Elementary School: Built 1964 (Faulkner, Kingsbury & Stenhouse, architects)
See also separate listing for All Hallows Guild Traveling Carousel

DC Inventory: March 7, 1968
National Register: May 3, 1974



Wisconsin Avenue at Massachusetts Avenue, NW