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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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September 9th, 2011 at 11:00 am

Four Historic Baltimore Synagogue Buildings

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Lloyd Street Synagogue B’nai Israel Synagogue Madison Avenue Temple Eutaw Place Temple

The Lloyd Street Synagogue stands just off Corned Beef Row in Old Town, Baltimore. Founded in 1830, the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation worshiped in an apartment above a grocery store until 1845 when the Robert Cary Long, Jr. designed building at Lloyd and Watson Streets was completed. The third oldest synagogue in America, the subtle Greek Revival style structure served its founding membership for 45 years. In 1890 the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation moved to the Madison Avenue Temple. Lloyd Street was subsequently occupied by two Catholic and two Jewish congregations until 1963 when it was abandoned. The Jewish Museum of Maryland purchased the noble structure shortly thereafter, restoring the synagogue as a shrine. The basement contains traditional matzoh oven and a ritual bath, while the interior and exterior represent the building’s historic aesthetic.

Next door to the Lloyd Street building is the beautiful B’nai Israel Synagogue. Designed by Henry Berge and dedicated in 1875, the Victorian Gothic style structure contains detailed facade stonework. Berge, the father of sculptor Edward Berge, was a master stonecutter and apparently a very talented architect. Dedicated in 1875 as the Chizuk Amuno Synagogue, the building was purchased in 1895 by the Russian/Polish B’nai Israel Congregation. The group still occupies the synagogue today. The Jewish Museum of Maryland was built on the lot between the Lloyd Street and B’nai Israel synagogues.

When the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation moved out of the Lloyd Street Synagogue (1890) they relocated to the Madison Avenue Temple in Bolton Hill. Deigned by Baltimore architect Charles L. Carson, the building is Byzantine in style and features a massive dome and two parallel octagonal towers. Carson also designed the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church next to the Washington Monument. In 1951 the Berea Temple of Seventh Day Adventists purchased the temple when the BHC moved to their current location on Park Heights Avenue.

Just south of the Madison Avenue Temple is Joseph Evans Sperry’s Eutaw Place Temple. Originally built for Temple Oheb Shalom, the Byzantine structure, decorated with Beaver Dam marble, was completed in 1892. When the congregation moved out in 1960, the Price Hall Masonic Lodge purchased the Bolton Hill property. Dedicated in 1907, the Francis Scott Key Monument stands directly in front of the temple. The fountain memorial depicts Francis Scott Key on a small boat offering his patriotic poem to a golden statue of Columbia.

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February 23rd, 2011 at 8:37 am

Mother Seton Statue and Saint Mary’s Chapel

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Mother Seton Statue Saint Mary’s Chapel Saint Mary’s Chapel Orchard Street Church

In the Seton Hill Historic District, just a few blocks west of the Washington Monument, is the Mother Seton House and Saint Mary’s Chapel. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born U.S. citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church, moved into the house with her five children on June 16, 1808. On the same day, French born architect Maximilian Godefroy’s Saint Mary’s Chapel was dedicated by America’s first bishop, John Carroll, in the adjoining yard. A year later Mrs. Seton would move her family to Emmitsburg, MD where she eventually started the country’s first free school for girls and a thriving Catholic community. This statue sits just inside the fence to the right of the Mother Seton House at 600 North Paca Street and was designed by the St. Jude Liturgical Arts Studio.

Saint Mary’s Chapel has been operating as a religious institution for over 200 years and is incredibly well-maintained. Designed by Maximilian Godefroy, who also created the city’s Battle Monument and First Unitarian Church, the humble structure is deceptively elegant. Surrounding the property is a large peaceful park where the seminary once stood, adding a countryside context to the historic site.

Two blocks west at 512 Orchard Street is the Orchard Street Church. Founded in 1825 by Truman Pratt, the church was used extensively as an Underground Railroad stop. A near mile long tunnel can apparently be toured by appointment.

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August 20th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Stanford White and Baltimore’s Lovely Lane Church

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Stanford White (1853-1906) was one of the most successful and gifted architects of the Gilded Age. A partner in the prominent New York design firm, McKim, Mead and White, Stanford was known for his detailed artistic renderings. Specializing in elaborate private residences, he created a variety of houses throughout the eastern United States, along with public buildings and churches. The second Madison Square Garden was designed by White, its rooftop the eventual site of his highly publicized murder.

In 1906, White was shot in the head by the millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw during the premiere performance of Mam’zelle Champagne. Thaw, an avid drug user and possible sadist, was the husband of 21 year-old Evelyn Nesbit, a model, actress and former lover of White. The murder was mistaken as exhibition by the excited Madison Square Roof Garden crowd, cheers gleefully trailing three point blank pistol shots. Two massively popular trials ensued and Thaw, after pleading temporary insanity, was sentenced to an asylum. He walked in 1915 and continued his abusive, bizarre life.

White designed north Baltimore’s Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in 1884. Also known as the First Methodist Episcopal Church, the building at 2200 Saint Paul Street was completed in 1887. The Romanesque Revival style construct was modeled after the basilicas of Italy, the tower closely resembling Pomposa Abbey.

Buildings in Baltimore designed by Stanford White:

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March 10th, 2010 at 7:03 am

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation

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The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation stands at the corner of Maryland Avenue and West Preston Street in Charm City. Designed by the prolific Charles E. Cassell, the amphitheatrical building is a unique mixture of architectural practices. Built in 1889, the structure was originally occupied by the Associate Congregational Church. In 1937 the Greek Orthodox community purchased the building for its growing congregation. Cassell also designed the First Church of Christ, Scientists and the Stafford Hotel.

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January 31st, 2010 at 7:24 am

A Few of Baltimore’s Seventh Baptist Churches

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Seventh Baptist Church Seventh Baptist Church Eutaw Place Baptist Church University Baptist Church

Started in 1845, the Seventh Baptist congregation once met in a meeting house on Calvert Street in Downtown. Richard Fuller, a man known for his controversial 1840s stance on slavery in the scriptures, was once head of the group. The organization changed locations and affiliations several times, and in 1897 the North Avenue district was chosen for the church’s expansion. The Seventh Baptist Church building is located at 1916 Saint Paul Street. The Seventh Metro Church, a reformation of the Seventh Baptist congregation, uses the structure today.

The Eutaw Place Baptist Church was established in 1867 to handle the surplus of Seventh Baptist Church members. The building was designed by Thomas Walter in the Gothic Revival style. Walter, the fourth architect of the U. S. Capitol building, offered his services for free. The Bolton Hill property was donated by Hiram Woods. The historic building is now occupied by the City Temple of Baltimore (Baptist).

Charles Village’s University Baptist Church sits near the top of Clover Hill on the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University. Founded in 1917 by forty members of the Eutaw Place Church, University Baptist was established for Johns Hopkins and the surrounding community. The building was conceived by John Russell Pope, architect of the Jefferson Memorial and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

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January 15th, 2010 at 9:28 am

Eutaw Place Temple in Bolton Hill

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The Eutaw Place Temple was built in 1892, and is located at 1307 Eutaw Place in Bolton Hill. Temple Oheb Shalom erected the unique structure after moving north from their original downtown location on Hanover Street. Established in 1853, the congregation provided an alternative to the orthodox and radical reform groups that dominated Charm City’s 19th century Jewish population. Designed by Joseph Evans Sperry, the synagogue is defined by its Byzantine style. Sperry also designed Baltimore’s Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower and the Brewer’s Exchange. After moving to a larger facility in 1960, Temple Oheb Shalom sold the Eutaw Place Temple to the Prince Hall Masons. The masonic group utilize and maintain the building today. The Francis Scott Key Monument stands in front of the temple.

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January 4th, 2010 at 6:40 am

Baltimore’s Zion Lutheran Church

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The Zion Lutheran Church (once called German Lutheran Reformed Church) was established in 1755, 25 years after the village of Baltimore Town was organized. The congregation worshiped in private residences and eventually a small meeting house until 1807, when a location was agreed upon and a church was erected.

The original building facing Gay Street and the Jones Falls was finished in 1808 and was built by George Rohrbach and Johann Mackenheimer. When it burned down in 1840 the church promptly erected a second structure that still stands today. The tower and parish hall were added in 1913 by architect Theodore Wells Pietsch. The prominent newer structure is next door to the Peale Museum and catercorner to City Hall. The German-born artist Hans Schuler created several sculptures that decorate the garden area.

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January 2nd, 2010 at 9:19 am