Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One Baltimore church has a landmark designation to match its historic building. The city approved the award this week.
As Gigi Barnett explains, the congregation began the application process decades ago.
Outside St. Mark’s Lutheran Evangelical Church in Baltimore is a historic landmark. But this weekend, the city also designated the church’s interior a historic landmark.
“This is, in a way, a dream come true,” said Rev. Dale Dusman.
Dale Dusman is the church’s pastor. He says the church started applying for historic landmark status nearly 40 years ago. He says St. Mark’s doesn’t resemble most other Lutheran churches–even by today’s standards.
“I’ve seen very few Lutheran churches that would be this highly decorated. There are lots of beautiful churches but this is unique for us,” Dusman said.
On a tour inside St. Mark’s, guests can see priceless Tiffany stained glass installed back in 1917. Mosaic tiles decorate the altar and just over the balcony are carefully maintained organ pipes. They sound as clear as the day they were set in place.
Kathleen Kotarba runs the city’s Commission for Historical Preservation. It’s the agency that awards the distinction.
“The wall painting…everything is here and it’s so rare to find that,” Kotarba said.
St. Mark’s is the second building and the first church in the city to receive this kind of interior landmark designation. City historians inspected the building and they say this kind of recognition is much more difficult to achieve.
Construction on St. Mark’s started in 1897 and ended the following year.