September 12, 2013

Old St. Paul’s New Look

My father attended the 8:00 a.m. service at Old St. Paul’s Church ever since I can remember. He was sometimes one of only ten or fifteen attendees, which usually included the Mayor of Baltimore, who later became the Governor of Maryland. The church is sort of gothic in style, and sits on what was the highest piece of land in Baltimore when it was acquired in 1729. The current building, one of four which have housed Old St. Paul’s is 158 years old and it was showing its age. image

The church was, in Robert Frost’s words, lovely, dark and deep. imageThe reverend could barely see the people in the back pews and the colours had been darkened by a scrim of incense smoke. Recently, the parishioners decided to do something about that and restore their church to its former glory.

They called in Matt Mosca, a chomochronographer, who specializes in historic paints and colours. What he unearthed surprised everyone – the church had been painted the colour of sun-splashed wheat.image So that is what the church members selected and that’s what is on the church walls now. Complementary shades were picked to highlight the church’s architecture and everything came together during ten weeks of the summer. image

Another discovery was a set of early plans of the current building which showed stars strewn across the ceiling of the church, imageand while there was never any proof that this was carried out, stars now cover the deep blue ceiling. image

Many of the windows at Old St. Paul’s were made by Louis Comfort Tiffany and are still in situ today..imageI know that this will be a huge improvement, and I am just sorry that my father isn’t alive to see it!

Images: Baltimore Sun


  1. That ceiling makes is wonderful! Beautiful.

  2. Wow - that's really special. I wish your dad could see it, too. The ceiling makes me think of Hogwarts' banquet hall, which has an enchanted ceiling that looks like the sky. 8-)

  3. Thank you so much for this post. I love to see historic renovation projects and am so disheartened when beautiful old buildings "go to seed", and worse still, are torn down.

  4. Really enjoyed seeing this post + sorry your dad didn't get to sit in pew + but bet he is seeing it right now.

  5. Love those stars in the night sky ceiling. Would love to have a small space room or above a bed to have painted the same.

  6. What an amazing transformation. Looks so much warmer and more inviting.
    Thanks for the tour.

  7. what a change -it looks so lovely! especially love the stars on the ceiling.


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