MHT File Photo
Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church & Community House
508, Dolphin St., Baltimore, Baltimore City
The Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church is an 1898 Gothic Revival stone structure of massive proportions with sharply pitched gables, a square parapeted corner tower, lancet windows, and Gothic influenced interior decorative detailing. The exterior and foundation walls of the church are Woodstock granite laid in irregular courses with raised mortar joints. The Dolphin and Etting Street facades are identical in design. The main entrances are located in the east and south sides of the 85-foot-high bell tower located in the southwest corner of the church. The Community House is a 1921 Georgian Revival influenced brick structure, four stories high, with white brick quoins, lintels, and sills; elaborate masonry entranceway with a balcony supported by brackets; and a roof balustrade.
The Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church is significant for its association with black social history in Baltimore, with religious history, and with history of education. The congregation is one of the oldest in the city, organized in 1787, and was highly influential in the antebellum freedom movement, the establishment of the first black school in Baltimore after the abolition of slavery, and the movement to foster the institution of the black church. The 1898 building represents the church following the migration of its members within Baltimore in the late 19th century. Additional significance is achieved through the structure itself as an intact example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture that was commonly used for churches primarily in urban areas at the turn of the century. The distinctive features embodied in Sharp Street Memorial are a massively proportioned masonry structure with sharply pitched gables, lancet shaped windows, and a parapeted square tower.