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The Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

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The Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
Washington National Cathedral


Structure in General

existing [completed]
load-bearing foundation walls


church (anglican)


  • Built with the same engineering used in Medieval times (but using modern tower cranes), the structure's masonry is all self-supporting, and uses no structural steel.
  • Like many of Europe's gothic churches, the National Cathedral has a variety of fearsome-looking gargoyles, but with a modern touch - one is a stylized businessman holding a briefcase.
  • Contains the tomb of President Woodrow Wilson.
  • The top of the building reaches 676 feet above sea level, making it higher than the Washington Monument even though the structure is shorter.
  • This cathedral weighs 150,000 tons.
  • There are 215 stained glass windows in the cathedral.
  • The principal stone used in the construction of the cathedral is Indiana limestone.
  • This is the second-largest church in the United States, after only the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
  • Construction lasted 83 years, starting and finishing on September 29th.
  • The paired towers at the west entrance are 234 feet tall.
  • The Cathedral welcomes nearly 700,000 visitors and worshippers annually.
  • There are 110 gargoyles on the Cathedral.
  • The first tract of land for the 30-acre Cathedral site was purchased in 1898 for $245,000. Two other parcels of land were purchased later, bringing the total cost to $291,427 and the total area to fifty-seven acres.
  • The Gloria in Excelsis central tower contains a 53-bell carillon from John Taylor Bell Founders (in the lower belfry) and a 10-bell peal from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Both were cast and installed in 1963, and together they make this tower unique in the world in having both a carillon and a peal.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt was present for the foundation ceremony.
  • As part of the commemoration of the American Institute of Architects' 150th anniversary in 2007, the organization announced the list of the 150 highest-ranked structures as "America's Favorite Architecture". The Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul was ranked third on this list. Start with the Empire State Building to make a tour of "America's Favorite Architecture" in order. The next building on the list is Thomas Jefferson Memorial also in Washington.

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More Information


3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW
3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW
District of Columbia

Technical Data

301.00 ft
301.00 ft
517.67 ft
289.75 ft

Involved Companies

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
  • National landmark
  • Cathedral title is officially assigned
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