/ The DC Traveler
Washington DC — By Jon Rochetti on March 13, 2009 at 6:05 am
Filed under: Attractions, Church, President, St. Johns, Washington DC

The President’s Church in Washington, DC

St John's church in Washington DC - frontEvery sitting U.S. president since President James Madison has sat at least once in Pew 54 at St. John’s Church on the north side of Lafayette Square, opposite the White House.

The small, and easily recognizable yellow Episcopal Church is known as the “Church of the Presidents,’ since so many Presidents have attended a service there.

After Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison, each regularly attended the church.  Each president continued to us e Pew 54 and pay the annual pew rental fee.

And most recently, President Obama attended an Inauguration Service at St. John’s on January 20, 2009.

interiorDesigned by British architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who also designed the U.S. Capitol building, the church was established to serve the growing community around Lafayette Square, then called President’s Square or Federal Square.  The church was opened in 1820.

In the bell tower, the church’s bell, which is still in daily operation. It was cast by the son of Paul Revere, and was partially funded with public funds, after President Monroe authorized a $100 Federal grant.  At a time, the bell was also used as a neighborhood alarm.

Additionally, there are over 25 colorful memorial windows around St. John’s.

Tours are offered following the Sunday 11 a.m. service (10:30 St John's church wide viewservice in the summer).

St. John’s Church
Lafayette Square
16th & H Streets, NW
Washington DC 20005 (map it)

Hours – Monday – Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Sundays – 7:30 – 2:00

Admission - Free

Nearest Metro Subway Station – McPherson Square – Orange and Blue lines, then a 3-block walk or use the DC Circulator.

Parking – Limited metered street parking is available.

Images – Flickrfront, interior, side

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Tags: Attractions, Church, President, St. Johns, Washington DC

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