St. John's Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Park from the White House, where President Barack Obama and his family will worship before the public inauguration ceremony, is known as "The Church of the Presidents." Since its first service in October 1816, every U.S president has attended a regular or occasional service.
Pew 54 is known as "The President's Pew" and is reserved for the president whenever he attends. Located across from the White House on the other side of Lafayette Park, Obama and his family attend services there occasionally.
James Madison is the president who chose pew 54, which is about halfway back in the church. There is an 18th-century prayer book in the pew that many presidents have autographed.
Madison's wife, Dolly, was baptized and confirmed at the church. It was built in 1816 by Benjamin Latrobe, the architect who also worked on the Capitol and the White House.
— Darlene Superville and Jim Kuhnhenn — Twitter http://twitter.com/dsupervilleap and http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn
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