FBA to offer monthly tours

The Foggy Bottom Association will host monthly tours of famous and interesting landmarks within the community starting this weekend with a trip to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on 23rd and H streets.

Jackie Lemire, chair of the association’s Community Improvement Committee, said tours will be free and open for anyone in the neighborhood, including students. The tour of St. Mary’s will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and will be led by church historian Bradford Tatum and Howard University Provost Richard Allyn English.

St. Mary’s, which is a registered historic site in the District, was originally built in D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood in 1867 as the first black Protestant Episcopal Church in the city. The chapel was later taken apart, moved and rebuilt at its site on 23rd Street between H and G streets after Catharine Pearson, a white member of another congregation, donated it to Foggy Bottom, which was predominantly black at the time.

The church was designed by James Renwick, the architect who also designed the Smithsonian Castle.

“I’m sure a lot of people that live here have no idea of the history behind it,” Lemire said. “I myself am interested in going on the tour.”

Lemire said the aim of the program is to bring residents of Foggy Bottom to places that they would be interested in seeing, particularly famous landmarks or points of interest, such as St. Mary’s.

For subsequent tours Lemire hopes to visit places such as the diplomatic rooms at the State Department and backstage at the Kennedy Center, but nothing is confirmed yet.

“We’ve done this before,” she said, ‘but we haven’t done it consistently like we want to now.”

-Alexa Millinger

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