The Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel-Washington DC


Oak Hill Cemetery Gatehouse and Gate
Photos courtesy of the DC SHPO

The Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel is the only known example of James Renwick’s Gothic Revival ecclesiastical design in Washington, DC. The one story rectangular chapel, measuring 23 by 41 feet, was built in 1850 and sits on the highest ridge of the Oak Hill Cemetery. The beautifully proportioned chapel is considered an excellent example of Gothic Revival Architecture, as evidenced by its steeply pitched roof, buttresses, and its pointed arched windows with tracery. Renwick, one of the pre-eminent architects of the 19th century, designed both the Grace Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and was the architect for the original Smithsonian Institution.

Oak Hill Cemetery
Photo courtesy of the DC SHPO

The Oak Hill Cemetery was created by William W. Corcoran, also founder of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, in 1848. The chapel is one of several landmarks in the cemetery, which also includes the Van Ness Mausoleum, designed by George Hadfield, and the monument to E.M. Stanton, President Lincoln’s Secretary of War.

The Oak Hill Cemetery is located at 30th and R Sts., NW. It is open weekdays only from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is closed holida