Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, Lanvale & Carrollton Streets, Baltimore, Independent City, MD
Significance: The landmark Metropolitan United Methodist congregation dates back to 1825, the year formerly enslaved Truman Pratt began organizing prayer meetings in the Scrabble Town section of south Baltimore. By 1837, Pratt and his followers had moved their church to Orchard Street in Seton Hill, a site they occupied until the move to their present location in 1928.
Begun in 1871 for the Grace Methodist Episcopal congregation (organized 1868), this church was the Grace congregation's second building on the Square. The first was a wood chapel erected in 1868 that stood on a site on the northwest corner of Carrollton and Lafayette. The pair of date stones embedded high in the gables of the chapel facade on North Carrollton (dated 1871) and the main facade on West Lanvale (dated 1875) commemorate two of Grace congregation's three building campaigns on this site: the first under the architectural leadership of the Dixon & Carson firm and the second, and more substantial, under the direction of Frank Davis. Built in the same English Gothic revival mode and of the same Falls Road blue gneiss and Ohio sandstone, the 1871 chapel and the 1875 auditorium appear to blend seamlessly into each other. A close inspection of the details, however, specifically of the lancet windows, the entrance porches, and the interior decoration, reveals the work of two distinct hands. The tower and spire (now gone) once soared to a height of 200 feet, making it the tallest steeple on the Square and a prominent landmark on the city skyline.
Survey number: HABS MD-1147
Building/structure dates: 1871-1872 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1874-1876 Subsequent Work