St Thomas Church Project Overview

The St Thomas Parish redevelopment project creates a new church and was to add 51 condominium units to the historic St. Thomas Parish property located in Dupont Circle, Washington DC. After numerous battles with local resident groups and a stop work order, the project converted to rental apartments and was renamed Madison House.

St Thomas Church apartments


CAS Reigler and St Thomas Parish


Hickok Cole & MTFA


Snead Construction








1772 Church Street NW Washington, DC 20036


St Thomas Church is located at 1772 Church Street NW in the Dupont Circle Historic District, between O and P Streets to the north and south, 17th and 18th Streets to the east and west in the Dupont neighborhood of Washington DC.

Project Media Gallery

St Thomas Church Project Details

A new addition to the existing Parish Hall will create a mixed-use church and multifamily residential building, along with shared underground parking. The church and condominium will function independently, but are one building for zoning purposes. Nearly five years of neighborhood opposition have required the developer to revise plans repeatedly. Reigler was selected as the St Thomas Church developer in 2013.

The St Thomas Church project has been designed as two separate abutting buildings above grade, one residential building that incorporates the parish hall on Church Street, and the new church which will face 18th Street. The street elevation of the residential building has been composed in three distinct sections; The parish hall (existing structure to be retained with two floors added above), set back from from Church Street; The Cloister Entrance (also retained, with 5 additional floors added above). Main block of the new condominiums of 6 stories at front property line and an additional set back 7th floor, brick-clad to relate to the parish hall. Through a series of setbacks from the Church Street elevation and the eastern property line, the building’s height would be 69’-5”; the penthouse would rise an additional 10’-6”. The penthouse level is proposed to combine mechanical equipment and outdoor space for the 7th floor penthouse units. The parish hall façade will be retained, as will most side walls, floor and roof. The rear elevation and a small portion at the rear of the main block are expected to be removed, along with the stairs behind the cloister. Original plans for the St Thomas Church project called for the addition of a new 53-unit, 7-story, 50,000 SF condominium building to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church site, on adjacent parcel (approx.  2-thirds of the total site) sold to developer, along with redesign/build of historic church. Included in the design plans were private roof terraces for four PH units. St Thomas Church (c. 1894) was destroyed by fire in the 1970s and will be rebuilt with a new design according to project plans approved by ANC2B in July 2014, with support for a resolution by the Dupont Circle Conservancy, which asked for higher-quality materials and better understanding of the manner in which the structure will blend with existing properties on 18th Street and a request that architects try to reduce the mass of the condominium component adjacent to townhomes on Church Street, increasing height more gradually from the east to west. Accordingly, the developer reduced the mass approx. 3000 SF and shifted the bulk of its design to the 18th Street end of the project and the rear alley in late summer 2014. Then, in mid-fall 2014, trimmed another 1000 SF. In addition to these design tweaks, twice postponed HRPB presentations for the St Thomas Church project (2014) and a December 2014 Dupont ANC presentation further delayed approval of the project.

Community Engagement

DCOZ, ANC, HPRB, BZA and associated documentation for the St Thomas Church project.

JULY 5, 2018 Settlement

The Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA), Church Street Neighbors (CSN) and the project developer reached a settlement which was announced July 5 2018. Terms include developer concessions to increase affordability of ADU/IZ, pay legal fees for DCCA and donate to nonprofits benefitting the homeless.

The DCRA issued, then lifted a Stop Work Order (SWO) on this project in late April and early May 2018 respectively, after church officials claimed the SWO would force them into bankruptcy. A DC Superior Court judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) forcing the city to lift the SWO on the church and residential building.

The Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) believes the first floor of the project exceeds maximum lot occupancy of 80% by 6.7%. The project returned to the BZA for reconsideration. A BZA variance request was made to exempt the project from the 80% requirement and the exception was granted, but the DCCA appealed in September 2016. The DC Court of Appeals had the case for over 18 months, while construction was continuing on the project, before it vacated the approval. Its  decision concluded that the parish did not adequately demonstrate it had an exceptional condition. More details at Bisnow

The DC Court of Appeals overturned the zoning variance issued by the BZA, approving two new buildings on the site after the lawsuit contesting the variance was filed by the Dupont Circle Citizens Association. The church is appealing the DC Court of Appeals ruling.

Legal representatives for the church also filed a Superior Court motion requesting a permanent injunction banning the DCRA from reissuing a stop work order for the projects ahead of a Court of Appeals final order on the matter, or a mandate directing the BZA to reconsider the zoning variance.

Meanwhile, church representatives and the project’s developer are trying to negotiate a settlement agreement with the DCCA.

According to church representatives, legal fees and construction delays have cost the development partners in excess of $100k.

St Thomas Church Project SALM Coverage

Short Articles about Long Meetings (SALM): St … – Washington,…/st–thomas-project-its-unholy- alliance.html Feb 28, 2014 … The parishioners and leadership of St. Thomas‘ Parish Episcopal Church (1772 Church Street NW) had to endure some abuse on February 26, … St. Thomas Parish Church Gets Conditional Endorsement from ……/st–thomas-parish-church-gets .html Mar 16, 2015 … “That was a little more civil than I’ve become accustomed to,” said a supporter of St. Thomas Parish Episcopal Church (1772 Church Street NW) … St. Thomas‘ Parish Presents Revised Church and Residence…/st–thomas-parish-presents- revised.html May 29, 2014 … The leadership of St. Thomas‘ Parish Episcopal Church (1772 Church Street NW) with their architects rolled out a revised design for its planned … Attorney: St. Thomas Case Could Cost DC…/attorney-st–thomas-case- could-cost-dc.html Oct 6, 2014 … A prominent DC lawyer and expert in religious land use cases has warned that the case of St. Thomas‘ Parish Episcopal Church (1772 Church … TENAC Joins Opposition to St. Thomas‘ Parish Episcopal Church ……/tenac-joins-opposition-to-st– thomas.html Jun 27, 2014 … The proposed building will go on the space currently occupied by St. Thomas‘ Parish Episcopal Church (1772 Church Street NW). The funds … Dupont ANC Resolution on St. Thomas…/dupont-anc-resolution-on-st– thomas.html Oct 1, 2014 … Dupont ANC Resolution on St. Thomas Church: “A Back-to-the-Drawing-Board Situation”. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B/Dupont … St. Thomas‘ Parish Church Watches Neighbors Organize Against…/st–thomas-parish-church- watches.html May 27, 2014 … The leadership of St. Thomas‘ Parish Episcopal Church (1772 Church Street NW) sat silently through a meeting of neighbors attempting to … St. Thomas‘ Parish Church Tries…/st–thomas-parish-church-tries -again.html Dec 3, 2014 … St. Thomas Parish Episcopal Church (1772 Church Street NW) was back before a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) … Short Articles about Long Meetings (SALM) – Washington, Nov 19, 2015 … Application by “Abdo F St., LLC” (dba Abdotel) for a substantial change to …. Holly Billow made reference to the St. Thomas Church project, … Agreement Reached in Logan Circle Air Rights Deal…/agreement-reached-in-logan- circle-air.html Mar 3, 2015 … … (Wednesday), March 4, at 7 pm at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle). … St. Thomas Parish Church Gets Conditional Endorsem.

DCOZ Case Exhibits for St Thomas Church Condos

St Thomas Parish History

St. Thomas Church was designed by Philadelphia PA architect Theophilus Chandler, begun in 1894 and completed in 1899. The Gothic design parish hall was added in 1922-23, during the ‘period of significance’ for the Dupont Circle Historic District (1875-1931) and so qualifies as a contributing building to the District. Franklin Roosevelt worshipped at St Thomas Parish, both as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and during his Presidency. Many other prominent DC residents have been members of the church, which was almost totally ruined by an arson fire in 1970. Portions of the basic structure (now referred to as the “ruins”) were stabilized and frame a small park owned by the church but offered over the decades as an unofficial park for neighborhood residents.

Floor Plans

Development and MRIS information on this site is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Square footage and other details are as represented by sellers, their representatives and/or developers.

Floor plans are not yet available for this project. Please check back for updates, or contact us.

St Thomas Church Condos Design Details

Ranging in size from 1100 square feet to 1500 square feet, the units will feature main level open floor plans with living area, kitchen, dining area and powder rooms. Upstairs, master and guest suites with walk-in closets and private outdoor space (per plan). Select units will include free-standing designer soaking tubs. Upper level homes will feature a roof deck while lower level homes include a private terrace with chandelier, outdoor gas fireplace and half bath access.

The church is designed as a monumental corner building with ‘clear ecclesiastical imagery’ according to the HPRB report. Masonry cladding in limestone or precast stone, brick, and stone are to be the exterior finishes. The façade on 18th Street would feature three two-story projecting bays with large-scaled Gothic style tracery glazing and a large metal cross that would extend above the roof overhang. The north and south facades are proposed to each have a curved stone bay with a large rose window bisected by a large metal cross; the stone would be salvaged from the church ruins. The church building would be four stories, rising to a height of 65’ with a 12’ tall penthouse. In addition to the stone salvaged for the exterior, portions of the ruins would be incorporated into the interior of the new church.

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