If you don’t know, Baltimore is home to the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States, and it was designed by Benjamin Latrobe, architect of much of Washington, DC, just 40 miles down the road, and America’s first professionally-trained architect. The church is called the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is a bit of a mouthful, so everyone just calls it the Basilica.
In 2006, a major restoration of the building was completed and it opened to rave reviews. It’s a stunning church, in the classical model, and the restoration won major historic preservation awards.
Most unfortunately, during the very unexpected 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked our region during August of 2011, the building suffered some structural damage and has been closed since then. However, the work is nearly finished, and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation is offering a hard-hat tour of the work that’s been done. The tour is free, but it’s limited to ten people, so send an e-mail here, if you’re interested in attending the walk through.