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St. Columba’s Church Washington, D. C.

  • Year Built: 1926
  • Architect: Rodier & Kundzin
  • Built By: Meatyard Construction Company

The first Episcopal mission in Tenleytown consisted of a small frame chapel built in 1875, just beyond the Methodist Cemetery, not far from the stone St. Columba’s church that stands today at 4201 Albemarle Street.

Referred to as St. Alban’s Chapel, it was a mission of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church which is located next to, but not part of, the Washington National Cathedral at the corner of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, N.W.

Adjacent to the chapel, there was a small Episcopal cemetery which also abutted the Methodist Cemetery, but was never associated with the latter. Most of the graves in St. Columba’s cemetery were disinterred when 42nd Street was extended in the 1940s.

By the early 1920’s a new church building was in use. The motivation for a new church may have come from the 1911 donation of a 700-pound bell by wealthy Washingtonian and Friendship estate owner John R. McLean. A tower was built in which to install the bell.

On May 24, 1926, the church obtained a building permit to construct the third church on their site at 42nd and Albemarle Streets. The granite used on its exterior came from the Perna Brothers quarry in Guildford, Maryland.

The Tenleytown Historic Resources Survey (2003) identified St. Columba’s as a site that merits consideration as a landmark.


St. Columba’s 1909







St. Columba’s 1922

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