St. Stephen the Martyr R. C. Church, Washington, DC


St. Stephen the Martyr is sited near George Washington University close to the border of Georgetown. The church fits in well with its immediate mid-rise residential neighbors along Pennsylvania Avenue.  The arched front facade is set off by a concrete bell tower.


Donald S. Johnson and Harold L. Boutin were the architects. They did more than 40 churches, the large majority in the DC area.  At one end of  the front is a porcelain statue of St. Stephen done by noted sculptor Felix de Weldon. It is an unusual inclusion, stiff and transitional.


The interior is minimal and largely white with a striking ceiling formation. A church in Rockville by the same architects also features arches and a rounded ceiling structure.


There is also figurative mid-century stained glass throughout.


The most significant fact about this church is probably that it was one of the Kennedys favorite places to worship. In the entrance lobby of the church is a picture of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy. The church lent several items to the White House lying in of John F. Kennedy and several priests from St. Stephen’s participated in ceremonies around Kennedy’s death.







“Felix de Weldon” Wikipedia <;

“Saint Stephen Martyr Catholic Church” Wikipedia <,_D.C.&gt;

Barnes, Bart “Harold L. Boutin” The Washington Post, 11 October 1987.



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1 Response to St. Stephen the Martyr R. C. Church, Washington, DC

  1. Jesse says:

    What an amazing front facade. It does remind me a bit of the headquarters of the justice league, however.

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