Benjamin Henry Latrobe's small church in the shape of a greek cross was altered with an extension to the west in 1820, and the completion of the existing tower in 1822.
It was substantially rebuilt by James Renwick in 1883. He added columns and an arch on the east end, small extensions to the north and south for dressing chambers, heating, and a study, and enlarged the windows to allow stained glass installations.
The church is the closest to the White House, located a little more than 1 block to the southwest across Lafayette Square.
Every chief executive since the 4th President, James Madison (1809-1817), has worshipped at this church. A pew is reserved for the First Family.
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