Thanks to Jeff for pointing us to a WaPo story about the 500 I St NW church!
During its 155-year existence, the building at 500 I St. NW has always been a house of worship — first Presbyterian, then Jewish, then Baptist, now Chinese. But only recently have historians rediscovered the secret behind its plain facade.
Underneath the church’s stucco-like covering, applied decades ago, is the original church, built in 1852 of brick and sandstone. Through research and a little luck, historians determined recently that the church’s designer was the same preeminent 19th-century architect who gave the U.S. Capitol the elegant wings and grand dome that define it today: Thomas Ustick Walter.