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Tour: St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church stands at the heart of a transforming neighborhood near The Wharf development site in Southeast Washington, DC. Led by its founding parents, the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and his wife Cissy, this racially, culturally, and economically diverse congregation grew out of the Civil Rights Era of the late 1950s, rooted in social justice.

The new contemporary church, designed with masonry and glass, serves its community and the city as a venue for worship and meeting space. The glass façade, its most recognizable feature, juts outward like a sail allowing light to enter and extending views to the Washington Monument, waterfront, and the surrounding neighborhood. Learn how this congregation, once hidden behind its overgrown suburban landscape, is now connecting spiritually and physically with the community.

Presented by: James Clark, FAIA, Braden Field, AIA, Michael Foster, FAIA, and Meagan Jancy, AIA of MTFA Architecture

Organized by: MTFA Architecture and St. Augustine's Episcopal Church


At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify design strategies that support the client’s need to serve the community;
  • Explore the use of masonry and glass in new church design;
  • Describe how the church’s contemporary design impacts a culturally diverse congregation; and
  • Explain how glass filters natural light and connects with the community outside.

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