Metropolitan Methodist Church in 1924, Canadian Embassy Today

Photo by PoPville flickr user NCinDC

NCinDC writes:

“The top photo is Metropolitan Methodist Church, ca 1924, taken by the National Photo Company. (via shorpy) The bottom photo is the Embassy of Canada, ca 2010.


Facing southwest at the corner of C Street NW and John Marshall Park (where 4th Street would normally intersect) in the Judiciary Square neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The street on the left in the older photo was called John Marshall Place (also called 4 1/2 Street), but that no longer exists.


Construction of Metropolitan Methodist Church (the current church building is located on Nebraska Avenue NW) began in 1854, but due to the Civil War, wasn’t completed until 1869. The building was designed by the New York architectural firm Mundell & Teckritz. The 240-foot steeple wasn’t finished until 1872, although it was torn down in 1935; the rest of the church building was demolished in 1956.

The postmodern Canadian embassy was completed in 1989 to the designs of architect Arthur Erickson.”

9 Comment

  • The embassy is one of the more interesting buildings in DC, but compared to what was there, it look completely sad and boring. And the lesson? Historic preservation is really, really important.

  • brookland_rez

    I like to ride my skateboard down the rails and steps of that building.

  • I prefer the church.

  • What was there between ’56 and ’89? Probably nothing.
    According to church’s history:
    the government purchased. My guess it was probably eminent domain-ed and demo’d for the Pennyslvania Ave redevelopment plan of the 50’s and 60’s.

    • The church was bought by eminent domain in the early 1930’s for an earlier redevelopment plan derailed by the depression. The spire was taken off the church in the 1930’s, the building was used for various vocational training activities in the depression and later as storage space by city agencies. One interesting note when the building was finally demolished the cornerstone was never found.

    • I believe that for a time the Penn side was a Ford dealership, then a library before being purchased by the Gov of Canada.

  • Thanks for featuring our church! Many of the fixtures were moved to our current location when the downtown church closed. Visit us at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave NW (right across from AU)

    • Glad some of the interior stuff survived – something of that earlier church still survives despite “progress”.

  • andy

    I like the northwest native art outside the Canadian embassy. As a WA transplant it makes me nostalgic, and it is simply amazing art, period.

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