MHT File Photo
Dorguth Memorial United Methodist Church
527, Scott Ave. & Carroll St., Baltimore, Baltimore City
Dorguth Memorial, built in 1857, is a simple, two-story gable-front brick church of the late Roman Revival style. A gabled roof with a pedimented brick cornice caps the building. Four brick pilasters divide the front façade into three bays. The central bay houses two round-arched windows on the upper story and a centered door with a round-arched transom at the street level. The side bays contain flat-topped windows in set and recessed panels divided by the pilasters. All the windows have more recently installed Gothic-arched stained glass. Four large windows of the upper story of the side façade are similarly decorated. A parish house of the same styling, added in 1868, is located at the rear of the south side of the church.
Dorguth Memorial Church owes much of its initial success to the hard work and determination of Nehemiah Altman, Dorguth’s first pastor. Altman, born in Mosbach, Baden, Germany of very wealthy and pious Jewish parents, initially studied to be a rabbi. Being desirous of having complete knowledge of the Scriptures for the sake of his people, he undertook a thorough study of both the Old and New Testaments. After much study and travail of soul, these efforts led Altman to Christianity, where he would spend his life’s work. After emigrating to America and joining the United Brethren Church, Altman ultimately felt a call to the ministry. He began preaching in the Otterbein section of Baltimore, eventually helping to form a new church. Dorguth Memorial represents a simple and typical example of an early 19th century church of the Roman Revival style. It is among the last of this type of church still in use in Baltimore. The church has remained in the community for 122 years. It was the center of the community when Pigtown was merely a village, and it remains the center of the community as an urban neighborhood. It has also remained important to a community which has changed from a largely middle income neighborhood in its early history to the predominantly working class community it is today.