The first section of Christ Church was built in 1806-1807. Designed by architect Robert Alexander (but attributed to Benjamin Latrobe), the structure features a battlement facade, possibly copied from a pattern book. The simple interior has a flat cove ceiling and cast iron columns.
Christ Church is the mother church of Washington's Episcopal parish. For 175 years this church and its congregation have played an important role in the life of Capitol Hill, and several early presidents worshipped here.
One of its most prominent members was John Philip Sousa, who was baptized, confirmed, married and buried in Christ Church. Although it has been greatly altered and enlarged, it still retains elements of the original design. The architecture has evolved since its 1806-1807 construction, according to the following timeline:
1824: First section was enlarged
1849: Gothic facades and bell tower were erected
1877: Cast-iron columns were added in the interior (William H. Hoffman, architect)
ca. 1878: Facades stuccoed
1877 or 1891: Chancel added
1891: Tower raised and porch added
1921: Interior alterations (Delos H. Smith, architect)
1953-54: Interior alterations (Horace W. Peaslee, architect)
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: May 25, 1969
Located within Capitol Hill Historic District