Migration is essential to human survival. Whether driven by the spirit of discovery or hope for a better life, whether forced by conflict or required for access to resources – massive change alters us in small ways and large.
This grand building, once labeled the ‘German Cathedral’ is home to so many treasures. Initially called the ‘Evangelical Lutheran Congregation at Baltimore Town,’ when established in 1755, it has remained a ‘Beacon of Light’ to so many.
“A number of years ago we did a series of affordable housing rehabs in West Baltimore close to Lafayette and the neighborhood around Lafayette Square. One day I was coming back, came up the street—I usually go another way—and said, ‘Wow! This is really neat.’ That sort sparked my interest in that whole Victorian neighborhood,” recounts David Gleason, the 2016 West Lafayette Avenue tour guide.
“I had heard so much about West Baltimore in the news over the past year-and-a-half that I wanted to check it out in person on foot. Sure, it’s rundown in parts, but it’s not too different from the better off communities in Baltimore,” says Christopher Berger, who has been a Doors Open Baltimore attendee since 2015.
“When I found out that there was a high vantage point that would be accessible [from the One South Street Tower], I immediately headed to this location. The interior lobby of the building was beautiful with the high ceilings and detailed finishing touches. But to be able to get out at the 20th floor and see a view of Baltimore from there was absolutely amazing.” says Anthony Jordon, Jr., one of our 2016 Buildings You Love Instagram Photo contest winners.
The last home of the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, you’re often overlooked by locals, historians, and tourists. It’s an unfair fate. You were the palatial final home of Maryland’s most important Founding Father and you are the most successful example of adaptive reuse in Baltimore City.
“I am guilty of under appreciating architecture when independently exploring an area. However, taking tours with clear guides like those present during Doors Open Baltimore illuminates an area’s history. On my own, I would not have drawn the same conclusions,” says 2016 DOB attendee, Jeremy Sanders.