My father attended the 8:00 a.m. service at Old St. Paul’s Church ever since I can remember. He was sometimes one of only ten or fifteen attendees, which usually included the Mayor of Baltimore, who later became the Governor of Maryland. The church is sort of gothic in style, and sits on what was the highest piece of land in Baltimore when it was acquired in 1729. The current building, one of four which have housed Old St. Paul’s is 158 years old and it was showing its age.image

The church was, in Robert Frost’s words, lovely, dark and deep.imageThe reverend could barely see the people in the back pews and the colours had been darkened by a scrim of incense smoke. Recently, the parishioners decided to do something about that and restore their church to its former glory.

They called in Matt Mosca, a chomochronographer, who specializes in historic paints and colours. What he unearthed surprised everyone – the church had been painted the colour of sun-splashed wheat.imageSo that is what the church members selected and that’s what is on the church walls now. Complementary shades were picked to highlight the church’s architecture and everything came together during ten weeks of the summer.image

Another discovery was a set of early plans of the current building which showed stars strewn across the ceiling of the church,imageand while there was never any proof that this was carried out, stars now cover the deep blue ceiling.image

Many of the windows at Old St. Paul’s were made by Louis Comfort Tiffany and are still in situ today..imageI know that this will be a huge improvement, and I am just sorry that my father isn’t alive to see it!

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Meg Fielding

Meg Fielding writes the local interior design and lifestyle blog Pigtown Design and is the past president of the Baltimore Architectural Foundation. She enjoys dual citizenship with the US and the UK.

3 replies on “Pigtown Design: Old St. Paul’s New Look”

  1. Wonderful!! Raised as I was in the Papist persuasion, and aware as I am of our sometime scuffles, I am nonetheless always inspired by the good taste of Anglo-Episcopal architecture (well the Norman French helped out a lot for the first part of the hyphen) and liturgy. A magnificent restoration!!

  2. What a delightful summary of the changes to St Paul’s and history behind it, Meg. Thanks for the article and the photos!

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