Project Overview

We have created the Lovely Lane Arts & Neighborhood Center within the walls of our historic building to better serve our surrounding community.

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. In the year prior to the pandemic, the church hosted 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. Yet, limitations of the aging facility have required significant upgrades to improve the public visitor experience.

Art Exhibit on Vaulted Ceiling in Chapel

The Campaign

In 2019 we launched a capital campaign to create the Lovely Lane Arts & Neighborhood Center within the walls of our historic building to offer a year-round facility with 21st century capacity. Completed building upgrades have preserved the building’s historic fabric while modernizing spaces and increased the church’s capacity to host community groups, performing arts events, and arts and cultural exhibits.

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

Our $3+ million project has already achieved important success. An initial $250,000 grant award in 2020 from the National Fund for Sacred Places (NFSP) allowed church leaders to raise funds from both public and private sources to complete Phase 1 work at the cost of $1.6 million. As of Fall 2023, we are actively pursuing a $1.5 million goal to incrementally undertake Phase 2 work as funds are raised.

Capital Campaign Update – Fall 2023

The project is divided into 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 some tiffany windows of the Brannan Chapel (exhibition space) – COMPLETE

Phase 1b (2021-2022): $850,000*

  • Integrate electric service, update electrical capacity – 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 — ?): $1.5 million*

  • Install upgraded building security + exterior signs – WORK IN PROGRESS
  • Upgrade gymnasium restrooms and locker rooms
  • Upgrade 2nd Floor classroom air conditioning equipment
  • Restore the South Tower entrance and historic staircase
  • Install air conditioning system inside the Brannan Chapel (exhibition space)
  • Restore floors and finishes of the Brannan Chapel
Folk Dancing in Fellowship Hall

About Us & Our Facilities

Lovely Lane—while serving an active congregation—has hosted public groups for decades at our mid-Baltimore heritage site location. Yet, our space had limitations until recently. Modern amenities have been added since 2020 to improve the visitor experience and increase public use of our historic building.