A Maryland church building belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) may soon become a landmark.
St. Mark's Lutheran of Baltimore was deemed a candidate for landmark status due to its elegant sanctuary, which was designed by famous American architect Louis Comfort Tiffany. Lauren Schiszik, preservation planner and landmarks coordinator with Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, told The Baltimore Sun about the rarity of the site.
"St. Mark's is one of only a few intact Tiffany-designed interiors left in the world… a glorious example of Tiffany's vision, and it's all there," said Schiszik.
One of the key benefits of becoming an official landmark is that no changes can be made to the site unless they are reviewed and given approval by a preservation commission.
According to its website, St. Mark's had the sanctuary designed in a "Romanesque" style, which was common for Western European churches built from 5th century until the 12th century.
"The church has been noted through Baltimore as an outstanding example of this architecture, which is always distinguished by exceptionally heavy walls, round-arched windows and doors, short and heavy columns and heavy capitals surmounting the columns," reads the section on the church's architecture.
"The whole effect is one of massiveness, firmness and solidity – symbolizing the firmness and permanency of the Church and of the Gospel of her Lord."
To see some of the interior shots of the sanctuary, click here.
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, St. Mark's pastor Reverend Dale Dusman explained that such a designation would be "a dream come true."
"This is a great tribute to the church and the people who have maintained it over the years…We are unique. We are the only totally Tiffany interior in Baltimore," said Dusman.
Founded in 1860, St. Mark's belongs to the ELCA's Delaware-Maryland Synod and has had its present sanctuary since 1898. In the years since this completion, The Tiffany Glass Decorating Company oversaw the addition of ornate stain glass windows.
The Baltimore City Council, who will determine the church's status, will make a final vote on the matter on Monday, Dec. 3.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church of Baltimore, Md., did not return comments to The Christian Post by press time.