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James Hoban became a pillar of the Catholic community in Washington, and is believed to have persuaded Father Anthony Caffrey, whom he may have met in Dublin, to travel to America to nurture the city's first Catholic church, Saint Patrick's. Largely patronized by Irish-born artisans and laborers, the congregation housed in the simple frame church prospered. By 1809, the parish had moved into a substantial brick Gothic Revival church on the northeast corner of 10th and F Streets, N.W. built to a design attributable to James Hoban. This building served the parish until the present Gothic Revival stone church was built on the site in 1872. The architect also provided plans for James Barry's private Saint Mary's Chapel on Capitol Hill near the Navy Yard in 1806. In 1815, Hoban was offered, and apparently accepted, a commission to design the short-lived Washington Catholic Seminary, located on a lot next to Saint Patrick's. Hoban's ecclesiastical structures are no longer extant.

Watercolor view of Saint Patrick's Church, which Hoban attended, by J.H. Bockelman, c. 1830.

Courtesy Saint Patrick's Church

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