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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Chevy Chase Presbyterian: 1924

Chevy Chase Presbyterian: 1924

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "Sanctuary, Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Let there be light

As a P. K., I've seen my share of church chandeliers. This is, indeed, a very frequently seen design. Church furnishings are meant to last a very long time, and are (or were in the past) quite well made. Even the lower end of any sanctuary furnishing is usually expensive. I imagine that the same basic design may have been used for a variety of budgets, with the difference in quality only visible on close inspection. It's generally not easy to closely inspect chandeliers, but I imagine these were not the budget model of the day, either.

Someone I know used to sell church furnishings and supplies, among other things, and her employer carried the higher end. If the pew flexes when you sit down midway between the supports, it's a cheaper model, and not one she would have sold.

P. K.: Preacher's Kid

Presbyterian Perspective

This photo provides the pastor's view, except that the congregation is missing. I wonder if the choir sang from the balcony above the narthex.

If this church was traditionally aligned, the back window faced west and the altar was on the east side of the sanctuary (behind the photographer.)

It's a lovely old church. I think it would be exceedingly rare to see that many massive wood beams in a church built today. Wood like that is expensive.

Weathered White Oak

I'm amazed in the following article on the design of this church no mention is made of the beautiful masonry. From the photo it appears to be composed of a variety of rough dressed granite.

Washington Post, May 17, 1924

Chevy Chase Church Dedication Tomorrow

Edifice Will Seat 700

The new edifice occupying a commanding site at the circle is of Tudor Gothic design. The plans, as drawn by F.A. Nelson, architect of New York, were awarded the gold medal of merit at the exhibition of the Architectural League of New York in 1921. The interior combines in rare beauty, the rugged strength of the walls and the roof of dark Southern pine. Cathedral leaded glass is used in the arched stone windows. The chancel furnishings of ornamental work, the narthex screen and pews are in weathered white oak. The church, with balcony, seats 700. Provision is made in the chancel for an antiphonal choir of eighteen voices, an organ console, elders seats and communion table, while in the assembly room under the auditorium there are seating accommodations for 500.

Today's view from the other side of the stained glass...

View Larger Map


Wow, what a gorgeous -- and bare -- sanctuary. Nowadays I guess you wouldn't get the exposed-beam-and-brick thing going on as much, but seeing the spine of the architecture is somehow gorgeous, despite being stark.


I like the light coming through the window.

Stock Church Parts

Jeez, do they use those same chandeliers in every church? They look like the same ones in the Catholic church I was dragged to as a kid in a small town in Iowa, and I recall seeing them in other other photos around here.

Man, that place would be hard to fall asleep in. Those brick floors look cold.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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