October 17: Dedication of Parish House (1911)

The following description of the dedication of Epiphany’s new parish house comes from a Episcopal Church newspaper of the time.

“On October 17, 1911, the parish house of Epiphany Church, Washington, was dedicated by Canon McKim [Epiphany’s rector]. The devotions consisted of a short and appropriate office authorized by Bishop Harding, and of addresses from various persons. Dr. McKim presented the house to the authorities of Epiphany parish on behalf of the donors. It was accepted by Nathaniel Wilson, Esq. [senior member of Epiphany’s vestry]. Canon Roland Cotton Smith [rector, St. John’s, Lafayette Square] spoke a few words of greeting on behalf of the clergy of the diocese, and the Rev. Wallace Ratcliffe [pastor, New York Avenue Presbyterian] spoke the felicitations of the citizens of Washington. The exercises were held in the splendid assembly hall (see accompanying picture). There are about twenty other rooms, including a large gymnasium and running track and also offices for the clergy, bedroom for the assistant minister, guild rooms, libraries and choir rooms. The east and west halls contain staircases providing easy access not only to the upper floors of the parish house proper but also to the great transept galleries of Epiphany church, which have hitherto been difficult to access. The new building is situated immediately in the rear of the church and is so designed that every room in it is flooded with light.

“This addition will add greatly to the equipment of Epiphany parish for its work as a downtown church. Two sisters, life-long members of Epiphany church, Mrs. B.H. Buckingham and Miss Isabel Coleman Freeman gave the $50,000 needed for this structure, and in addition several individual gifts were received for the furnishing of separate rooms [Willard and Dunlop]. The architect is Mr. Frederick H. Brooke [Dr. McKim’s stepson], of Washington.”

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