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Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington D.C.


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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..

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 Famous Tenants of Oak Hill Cemetery

In the very northeastern corner of Georgetown lies the beautiful Oak Hill Cemetery. It was built in 1848 under the direction of Georgetown’s favorite son William Wilson Corcoran. Open daily (except Saturdays), the 22 acre cemetery is one of the most peaceful yet slightly eerie spots in Georgetown.

The bulk of its interments come from the well-to-do class of DC during the second half of the 19th century. There are generals, admirals, doctors and lawyers galore. But its also got more than a few Confederate spies and just about everyone involved in the Lincoln assassination minus Lincoln and Booth themselves. Even Confederate president Jefferson Davis was buried here until 1893.

After the jump, check out some of the more notable grave sites:

The aforementioned William Wilson Corcoran. Georgetown native and son of two-time Georgetown Mayor, Thomas Corcoran. Founder of Riggs Bank and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Henry Addison. Mayor of Georgetown during the Civil War. Addison school is named after him.

Edwin Stanton. Secretary of War during the Civil War. Nominated and approved for the Supreme Court, but died before taking the oath.

Eleanor Washinton. First person buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Dean Acheson. Secretary of State under Harry Truman.

Joe Pozell. Superintendent of Oak Hill Cemetery. Longtime auxiliary police officer who directed traffic at Wisconsin and M on a volunteer basis. Killed in the line of duty 2005.

Phillip and Katharine Graham. Owners and publishers of the Washington Post. Lived in Beall-Washington house across the street.

Contributor: bruceyrock632
Created: March 27, 2014 · Modified: November 14, 2014

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