Mark Dent, president of Chesapeake Systems, a computer repair shop housed in a beautiful, old stone church in Hampden. Photo by Steve Ruark.
Mark Dent, president of Chesapeake Systems, a computer repair shop housed in a beautiful, old stone church in Hampden. Photo by Steve Ruark.

Courtesy Bmore Media – When Jack Gilden was searching for a headquarters for his advertising agency, he recalled his former church, Grace-Hampden Methodist Episcopal. He often passed the Hampden structure that had been burned almost to its shell by a fire. Gilden’s family had been fixtures in the neighborhood since the 1920s. He had fond memories of the space, and the neighbors did, as well.

“The neighbors appreciated my interest in renovating the church; they didn’t want to see it demolished,” Gilden says. “Many were married or baptised there.” 
Similar projects are dotted around Baltimore – the work of developers, architects and designers who have transformed former houses of worship into commercial and nonprofit enterprises. The oldest standing structure built by African Americans in Baltimore was renovated to house a nonprofit focused on empowering this community. A converted church in Mount Vernon is a popular wedding venue and has had a starring role on TV shows and movies. A tech company in Hampden is headquartered under soaring cathedral ceilings. And a church badly damaged by a fire was restored into a space for creative minds at Gilden Integrated.

Read more at Bmore Media.