The historic Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Baltimore City was recently awarded a grant by the National Fund for Sacred Places, a joint program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Partners of Sacred Places – the first church in Maryland to be included in the program.

The funding and support from the National Fund for Sacred Places will help launch a planned five-year capital campaign by Lovely Lane United Methodist Church to support a major renovation of the Church’s community spaces. Lovely Lane dates to the mid-1880s by Stanford White whose design features a formidable granite tower and a large sanctuary for services with a detailed constellation mural – details fit for the Mother Church of American Methodism. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

With an abundance of unique interior spaces and an active and inclusive congregation, the Church already serves as a space for a religious archive and museum, art installations, vocal performances, folk dancing, and other community-driven cultural programming. The grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places and their larger $2.2 Million capital campaign will support the creation of the Lovely Lane Arts & Neighborhood Center with a vision of providing a modern facility in continued service to the community.


Architectural schematics for the updated spaces illustrate a two-phase approach that will launch in 2020 with functional updates to the building’s air conditioning, electrical systems, restrooms, and accessibility. The second phase, planned for completion in 2024, includes the significant restoration and modernization of the Brennan Chapel, a unique auditorium space with a round gallery that often holds meetings, art displays, and performances.

Leaders of the Lovely Lane congregation and project have shared their goals by stating, “Lovely Lane is and can be so much more than a place of worship and a work of art…By investing in the revitalization of Lovely Lane’s community spaces, we will not only preserve an invaluable piece of Baltimore’s history but also enhance the role the church places in strengthing our community’s future.

Preservation Maryland commends the leadership of Lovely Lane for their vision and achievement ing garnering the support of the National Fund for Sacred Places.

More about the National Fund for Sacred Places

The National Fund for Sacred Places began with nearly $14 million in grants from Lilly Endowment, Inc. Now in its fourth year, the National Fund has supported 54 congregations and organizations, and awarded over $4.7 million in capital grants to community-serving congregations representing 17 faith traditions in 29 states and the District of Columbia. In 2019 the program received over $15 million in additional funding to continue the program through 2024.


Read more about Lovely Lane Church

Learn more about Partners for Sacred Places