150 S Street, NW
St. Paul’s is associated with the development of the Bloomingdale community as the earliest and best surviving example of a neighborhood church, and for its relation to patterns of demographic change in the city and local community as the church of the first African-American congregation in Bloomingdale. Other neighborhoods also transitioned from white to African-American majorities during the twentieth century, however, the social history of this process in the Bloomingdale neighborhood is extraordinarily significant because of its relation to the struggle for social justice and civil rights. This is particularly reflected in the fight against the neighborhood’s racial housing covenants that led to a 1948 Supreme Court decision that the enforcement of racial covenants violated the 14th amendment to the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Located near the unofficial border between white and African-American populations during the years of segregation, the church served as a bulwark of African-American civic involvement and social cohesion.
A key element of that social role was the fact that the Tabor Presbyterian Church served as the longtime meeting place of the Bloomingdale Civic Association. This pioneering citizens’ group advocated for civic improvements within the Bloomingdale neighborhood and for equitable treatment of African-American residents in the era of segregation
May 2018 Update: Landmark designation denied by HPRB.
August 2018 Update: Pending Raze Application for Church
Winter 2018 Update: The church was demolished.