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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
First Presbyterian Church and Manse
Inventory No.: B-12
Date Listed: 6/18/1973
Location: 200-210 W. Madison Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1854-1859
Architect/Builder: Architects: Nathan G. Starkweather and E.G. Lind
Description: The church is a rectangular brick building with a central tower flanked by protruding octagonal turrets at each corner. At the north end of the church is a 2-story building appearing to be a transept and sharing a common roof with the church, but is separated from the auditorium by a bearing wall. All the walls are brick; the exterior walls on Madison Street and Park Avenue are faced with brown New Brunswick freestone and are elaborately decorated with carvings in window tracery, hood molds, window sills, entrance arches, cornices, and pinnacles. Five buttresses on each side of the church proper rise above the roofline; there are larger buttresses at the corners of the "transept" on Park Avenue. The north or rear wall is plain brick, and the west wall is stuccoed. The main tower and spire rest on special stone piers. They are connected with, but independent from, the main foundation and form a platform for the iron pillars supporting the spire. The manse is a 3-story stone-faced building. Significance: The design of the church was probably begun by Nathan G. Starkweather and finished by his assistant E.G. Lind. The church is a notable example of Gothic Revival architecture and a landmark in the City of Baltimore. The English-born Starkweather was educated at Oxford University during the period of the "Oxford Movement;" although classical forms had been popular for a long period, the perpendicular Gothic style was revived as a by-product of this "Oxford Movement." In this church the religious spirit is portrayed inside and out by elongated arches and elaborate symbolism, and the building is particularly interesting for it use of structural iron.

 

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