St. James the Less Roman Catholic Church
1225, Eager St. & Aisquith St., Baltimore, Baltimore City
Saint James the Less Roman Catholic Church is an 1865-67 High Victorian Gothic influenced brick structure with Romanesque Revival overtones, a tall central tower rising out of the façade or west elevation, and an ornate interior with marble sculpture and murals. The façade of the church has round-arched recessed panels with round-arched windows and pointed bichromal surrounds created by alternating stone and brick treatment, and miniature round-arched corbelling under the eaves of the roof and in the façade of the tower. The exterior is built of brick, with all-stretcher bond on the front façade, and common bond on the sides. The steeple, at 256 feet, is one of the tallest church towers in the city.
The significance of Saint James the Less Roman Catholic Church is derived from several sources. As a building designed in the High Victorian Gothic style with Romanesque Revival overtones, the church is an example of a type of architecture that was commonly used in Baltimore in the second half of the 19th century for church structures. This church is an unusual example in that it is constructed of brick rather than the more commonly used stone, particularly for buildings of similar size and lavish treatment. The structure achieves additional significance as an early work of George A. Frederick (1842-1924), a prolific and prominent architect in Baltimore who designed buildings of all types mainly in the Baltimore area but also across the state. The craftsmanship of the period is apparent in the detailing of the construction of the building itself as well as in the stained glass windows from the studios of Josef Mayer in New York and Germany; three large interior murals painted about 1886 by the German-born artist William Lamprecht; and marble sculpture work by the Baltimore sculptor Joseph Martin Didusch.