Thank You for the information!In 1792, Pierre L'Enfant's "Plan of the Federal City" specified a site for a "great church for national purposes". However he defined it as non-sectarian and nondenominational. Hamilton modified that plan and eliminated the "church" and several other proposed monuments and that plan was never reproduced. The working plan for the new city was subsequently produced by Andrew Ellicott and it varied in many respects from L'Enfant's although the essence remained. National Portrait Gallery now occupies that site. In 1891, a meeting was held to begin plans for an Episcopal cathedral in Washington. On January 6, 1893, the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation of the District of Columbia was granted a charter from Congress to establish the cathedral. The 52nd United States Congress declared in the act to incorporate the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation of the District of Columbia that the "said corporation is hereby empowered to establish and maintain within the District of Columbia a cathedral and institutions of learning for the promotion of religion and education and charity." The commanding site on Mount Saint Alban was chosen.
The Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, under the first seven Bishops of Washington, erected the cathedral under a charter passed by the United States Congress on January 6, 1893. Construction began on September 29, 1907, when the foundation stone was laid in the presence of President Theodore Roosevelt and a crowd of more than 20,000, and ended 83 years later when the "final finial" was placed in the presence of President George H. W. Bush in 1990. Decorative and restorative work, particularly of damage from a nearby earthquake in 2011, is ongoing as of 2023.
While freedom of religion is always touted as one of the reasons for coming to America in the 1600s it did not exist. You were required to go to church and you were required to practice the religion of your town or colony. The Portsmouth Compact of 1638 was signed by a group of Boston dissidents, mostly Quakers who disagreed with the Puritans. The town they established in Rhode Island is recognized as the first place to not require a specific dogma/religion. In only one sentence they set up their whole government that was "freedom of" but not "from".......While we have freedom of religion We have never been guaranteed freedom FROM religion. Just look at your money. In God we trust...etc.