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Building Project Information & Newsletters

Churches are Neighborhood Anchors

Lovely Lane United Methodist Church is a monument that defines local Baltimore history as well as the larger history of Methodism in the United States. Known as the Mother Church of American Methodism, the 1884 building by famed architect Stanford White is a monument that draws hundreds of visitors every year.

However, Lovely Lane is much more than a place of worship and a work of art. Prior to the pandemic, the church hosted in 2019 over 750 participants representing over 40 educational, cultural, recreational, citizen, community volunteer and performing arts groups of all faiths and backgrounds. By providing access to lodging, arts exhibition space, and recreational facilities, Lovely Lane supports programs that foster community and serve our city’s students and youth. However, limitations of the aging facility increasingly restrict its use.


The Campaign

The creation of the Lovely Lane Arts & Neighborhood Center within the walls of our historic building will offer a year-round facility with 21st century capacity. Proposed building upgrades will preserve the building’s historic fabric while modernizing spaces, and increasing the church’s capacity to host community groups, performing arts events, and arts and exhibits.

The project will transform Lovely Lane’s architecturally complex structure and maximize community use. It will allow Lovely Lane to continue operating sustainably while serving as an anchor in the Old Goucher neighborhood.

The $3.2 million project has already achieved important success. An initial $250,000 grant award in October 2019 from the National Fund for Sacred Places (NFSP)—underwritten by the Lilly Endowment—allowed church leaders to raise funds to meet a 2:1 matching requirement and additional funding from both public and private sources to finance the $1.6 million completion of Phase 1. As of March 2022, we are actively pursuing the $1.5 million goal to undertake the full scope of Phase 2.


The project will be completed in three phases:

Phase 1a (2020 – 2021) – $750,000* (leveraged by capital grant from NFSP)

Construct handicap-accessible, street-level ramp COMPLETE

Install four additional public restrooms COMPLETE

Restore selected Tiffany windows of the Brannan Chapel (exhibition space) COMPLETE

Phase 1b (2021 – 2022) – $850,000*

Integrate electric service and update electrical capacity in Fellowship Hall COMPLETE

Install air conditioning system and new flat roof in Fellowship Hall (auditorium) COMPLETE

Create accessible restroom in the museum COMPLETE (Paid with non-project funds)

Phase 2 (2023 – 2025) – $1.5 million* FUNDRAISING FOR 2022-2023 START OF WORK

Install upgraded building security + exterior signs IN PROGRESS

Upgrade gymnasium restrooms and locker rooms

Install air conditioning system, 2nd Floor classrooms in 1930s addition

Restore plaster walls and finishes in the Brannan Chapel (exhibition space)

Restore the South Tower  entrance and historic staircase

Install air conditioning system inside the Brannan Chapel


*Budget figures include both hard and soft costs.


By investing in the revitalization of Lovely Lane UMC’s community spaces, we will not only preserve an invaluable piece of Baltimore’s heritage but also enhance the role the church plays in strengthening our community’s future.






October 2022: Milestone Moment at Lovely Lane!


March 31, 2022: Bringing new life to Brannan Chapel windows


Oct. 29, 2021: Progress on chapel windows – plus national recognition for our project!


June 4, 2021: We’ve reached our first construction milestone!


March 2, 2021: Construction begins to bring Lovely Lane into the future


Dec. 4. 2020: Lovely Lane campaign reaches important milestone!


Aug. 14, 2020: Capital campaign gains momentum


May 18, 2020: Hope for the future: Update on the Lovely Lane campaign


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