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Baltimore Building of the Week: St. Peter the Apostle Church

This week’s Baltimore Building of the Week arrives one day late, but with two buildings from Dr. John Breihan instead of one. The first of these two Greek Revival churches is St. Peter the Apostle Church built in 1843 at South Poppleton and Hollins Streets.

Image courtesy Jack Breihan

Nothing shows 19th-century Baltimore’s eclectic taste in architectural styles better than the churches erected by the city’s Roman Catholics. Their Cathedral (now the Basilica) was neoclassical, as were the first two parish churches, St. Patrick (demolished in 1897) and St. Vincent de Paul. St. Mary’s Seminary chapel was gothic. Here at St. Peter the Apostle, completed in 1842, the style is Greek revival. The first Catholic parish on the West Side, St. Peter’s was meant to serve immigrant Irish workers at the nearby B & O Railroad shops. Perhaps as a nod to “Jacksonian democracy,” the church is a brick version of an austere Athenian temple, with six white wooden Doric columns supporting a large pediment. The designer was the fashionable local architect Robert Cary Long, Jr. Three years after completing St. Peter’s, Long used the same Greek style on the East Side of town for another immigrant congregation, the Lloyd Street Synagogue. While the synagogue has been preserved as part of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, St. Peter’s is threatened by the lack of ongoing activity. The Transfiguration Community, combining three West Side parishes, recently consolidated worship in just one church, St. Jerome’s.

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Baltimore Building of the Week: Greek Revival Rowhouses

This week in the Baltimore Building of the Week series from Dr. John Breihan features the Irish Shrine and Railroad Workers Museum on Lemmon Street and the Babe Ruth Birthplace on Emory Street.

Lemmon Street, courtesy Jack Breihan

The popularity of the Greek Revival in Baltimore was not limited to churches and schools; it also produced a new design for the city’s ubiquitous rowhouses. Greek Revival rowhouses dispensed with the dormer window of the older federal style. Instead, the top half-story was lit by a square “attic” window beneath a less steeply gabled roof. From grand examples in Mount Vernon to humble 2 ½ story houses in Fells Point and Federal Hill, Greek Revival rowhouses dominated from 1830 or so until 1860. Two examples saved from demolition and open to view are the Irish Shrine and Railroad Workers Museum on Lemmon Street and the Babe Ruth Birthplace on Emory Street.

Babe Ruth Birthplace, courtesy Jack Breihan

Behind the Scenes Tour of the Irish Shrine at Lemmon Street

Diminutive but nationally significant, Baltimore’s Irish Shrine at Lemmon Street offers a rare glimpse of immigrant home life in America in the middle of the 19th century. Please join us for a tour of the Shrine, two restored 1848 alley houses in the Hollins Market neighborhood, with our hosts from the Shrine and its affiliate, the Railroad Historic District Corporation.

Image courtesy Jack Breihan

Tour Information

Dates: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 / Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 5:30 to 6:00 PM wine and cheese reception
6:00 to 7:00 PM tour
Place: 900 Lemmon Street – one block north of the B&O Railroad Museum
Parking is available along nearby streets
Cost: $15 (includes wine and cheese reception)
Registration: Click Here to Register
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Young Preservationist Happy Hour in Hollins Market on December 8

After months of exploring new neighborhoods and preservation issues — from redevelopment on the West Side at Alewife to discussing the future of heritage on Wikipedia at the Midtown Yacht Club — we’ve arrived at our last Happy Hour for the year at Amour Baltimore in the Hollins Market neighborhood. This month’s Young Preservationist Happy Hour is co-hosted by the Baltimore Red Line Community Liaisons and it’s a great opportunity to visit a fun corner of southwest Baltimore while learning about the future of transportation and revitalization in Baltimore.

Young Preservationist Happy Hour in Hollins Market

Thursday, December 8, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Amour Baltimore, 1116 Hollins Street (near Hollins Market)
RSVP today!

Come out and enjoy an evening of jazz music and tasty drink specials at Amour Restaurant, formerly known as Cockey’s Tavern, on Hollins Street! You can meet the Red Line Liaisons, get the latest updates on the Red Line project and have any questions about the Red Line answered. If this is your first Baltimore Heritage event, we’ll give you a free membership with discounts on tours and a subscription to our quarterly newsletter. Please RSVP for a chance to win free Behind the Scenes tour tickets on December 8!

Explore West Baltimore Squares with a Photo Walk & Tour on May 27

Union Square Park, 2011 Baltimore Heritage Awards Celebration Join Baltimore Heritage and the Baltimore Sun for our first photo walk and tour at the Sowebohemian Festival on Sunday, May 27! The utterly unique Sowebo Arts & Music Festival is a can’t miss neighborhood event in Hollins Market with music, dancing, great food, artwork, antiques and more. Of course, the festival alone offers a feast of photo opportunities for any photographer but it is also a great excuse for us to go out and explore the historic parks and neighborhoods of southwest Baltimore.

West Baltimore Squares Photo Walk & Tour

Sunday, May 27, 3:00 to 4:30pm
Meet at the west end of Hollins Market (South Carrollton Avenue and Hollins Street)
RSVP online today! Free.
Free street parking available in the surrounding area. Off-street parking available at the UM BioPark Garage (West Baltimore and Poppleton Streets). Transit – Take the free Charm City Circulator Orange Route to the Hollins Market stop at Arlington Street.

H.L. Mencken in his garden, July 28, 1955. Courtesy the Maryland Historical Society, B737(5)D.

Bring along your camera for a quick afternoon walk to see a few of West Baltimore unique parks and landmarks. Starting from the handsome brick Hollins Market, designed by Baltimore City Hall architect George Frederick, we’ll explore the Italianate rowhouses around Union Square and stop in at H.L. Mencken’s backyard. From Union Square, we’ll cross Baltimore street (one of the oldest commercial main streets in the city), check out historic Franklin Square, and take a look inside the grand Gothic Revival sanctuary at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. We’ll be joined by a Baltimore Sun photographer who’ll offer professional advice on getting the most out of your photos.

The Friends of West Baltimore Squares will also be raffling off a few chances to enter Baltimore City Parks Photo Competition for free! Even if you don’t win, you can enter the competition for $20 for adults and $10 for under 18.