Revisiting the Pittman Church on Morton Street

Upon visiting the Washingtoniana Room of the MLK Library, I was able to get a better copy of a 1906 Newspaper image showing the small church at 777 Morton Street (see below). As noted before, the property changed hands earlier this year and is currently scheduled for development as Morton Street Mews with a delivery date later in 2014.

Trinity AME Zion Church 1906

The building was designed by noted African American architect, William Sidney Pittman, which I’ve also posted about before. However, now that I’ve found a better image of what the church originally looked like I wanted to a bit more background on the church building.

The church building at 777 Morton is significant primarily because it was designed in 1905 by Pittman.  In 1905, Pittman left Tuskegee with his wife, Portia Washington, and moved to the Washington D.C. area. He first worked as a draftsman with prominent black designer, John Anderson Lankford who subsequently became Washington’s first licensed architect. However, in a few months, Pittman established his own practice and immediately had a few commissions. Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church represents his first church design in Washington. He had two subsequent commissions for churches in 1908. However, Trinity A.M.E. Zion was by far the most expensive and elaborate of the three. The cost was $9,500 compared to $1,500 and $800 for the later churches. Sadly 777 Morton Street is the only church building of his that remains.

Below is what the structure looks like today.

777 Morton(777 Morton Street, NW).

Explore posts in the same categories: Architecture, History

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6 Comments on “Revisiting the Pittman Church on Morton Street”

  1. Frank Says:

    covered in ugly formstone. yuck.

    • Dave Says:

      With the brick façade and stained-glass windows, it was an attractive little church when first constructed.

  2. Angry Parakeet Says:

    I wonder when the big stained glass window was removed. So often low income congregations cannot maintain their structures. There is a beautiful stone church that is deteriorating so badly it will never be saved on 12th…and also the white church close to the watermelon house. I wish they would be purchased and made into condos like that church close to Eastern market.


  3. […] The revised renderings (above and below) show a more sensitive and interesting treatment of the notable structure. You can compare the design in the revised drawing with how the church originally looked here. […]


  4. […] 1905 church building — originally designed by William Sidney Pittman (1875-1958) for Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church — will be somewhat restored and incorporated within the project. More details about the […]


  5. […] 1905 church building — originally designed by William Sidney Pittman (1875-1958) for Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church — will be somewhat restored and incorporated within the project. More details about the project […]


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