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Branches of Baltimore History

Architect Robert Cary Long, Jr.

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Green Mount Gatehouse Franklin Street Church Saint Alphonsus Church Lloyd Street Synagogue

Robert Cary Long, Jr. was one of the first trained architects from the state of Maryland. Born in 1810, as a youth he apprenticed with his entrepreneurial father. Robert Cary Long, Sr. (1770?-1833) was one of Baltimore’s prominent builders during America’s youngest days. Working from design books and construction experience, Long Senior began creating his own structures by the late 1780s. His modest Peale Museum and the ornate Davidge Hall are lasting legacies of his work.

R. Cary Junior attended Saint Mary’s College and later worked at the office of Martin E. Thompson and Ithiel Town in New York City where he cut his teeth in the architecture profession. When his father passed in 1833 he returned to Baltimore and took over the established family practice. In 1837 Long designed Green Mount Cemetery’s Gatehouse and original mausoleum. In 1929 the Egyptian Revival style mausoleum was replaced with the structure that exists today. Why it was replaced is unknown. The E. Sachse’s & Co’s Bird’s Eye View of Baltimore 1869 shows the antecedent building surrounded by sparse monuments and abundant trees.

The younger Long specialized in houses of worship, designing churches and synagogues primarily in the Gothic and Greek Revival forms. In 1845 his Lloyd Street Synagogue was completed in Old Town. It stands today as the third oldest synagogue in the United States. Across town, Saint Alphonsus Church was finished around the same time initiating a professional relationship with the Catholic Church that would last until the architect’s death.

Saint Peter the Apostle Church, Franklin Street Presbyterian Church, Mount Calvary Church and the aforementioned are excellent examples of Cary’s work inside city limits. His buildings can be also found in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Mississippi and throughout the state of Maryland. In the late 1840s, Robert Cary Long, Jr. outlined his plans to move his family to New York City. He died suddenly of cholera in New Jersey in 1849 during a visit with a client, having never completed the move. His influence and skill were on the rise at the time of his tragic death. The architect is buried at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown’s historic cemetery.

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Written by monumentcity

September 9th, 2011 at 11:00 am