Carr Properties


901 K Street NW/Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church

“Throughout the process the congregation realized that the church is NOT the building itself. It is less about the bricks and mortar, but everything that happens within.”

—Pastor Sokol, Mt. Vernon Place UMC


Unlocking property held by houses of worship to create mixed-use development and enhance community is a growing trend. Located on a prime site adjacent to the Walter Washington Convention Center in the heart of DC, the area neighboring this historic church was about to undergo massive revitalization. Years of dwindling attendance and finances left the congregation with massive repairs and upkeep for their sanctuary—and a bleak future.

Washington DC-developer Carr Properties presented the Methodist church with a unique vision to redevelop their site. They would alleviate the church’s financial and upkeep burdens by repositioning the property to maximize its full potential. In return, Carr would restore—and revive—the church to its original character and presented the congregation with an endowment.

SmithGroupJJR was hired to articulate the program and visual balance needed for this unique redevelopment. A soaring, five-story glass atrium—connecting the 1917 neoclassical church to a new fellowship hall, a café, and a new 250,000-square-foot commercial office building—represents the project’s signature achievement. The final solution delivers a refined, yet sensitive image on a vibrant property and improves the urban experience through greater community integration, fulfilling the promise of this prominent K Street site.

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