The scores of graceful towers, domes, spires and minarets that pierce Baltimore's skyline are testament to the rich religious life of this city.
Thus it was fitting for Baltimore to host the fifth national Sacred Trusts Conference, sponsored by Partners for Sacred Places and Jubilee Baltimore Inc., a non-profit group dedicated to the stewardship of older religious properties. The conference brought together experts to share ideas on church repair and maintenance, property management, community outreach and new ways to raise funds.
Baltimore has many examples of ways to give new life to religious buildings. The Orchard Street Church in West Baltimore is being recycled as office space to house the Baltimore Urban League. In East Baltimore, the Convent of St. Michael's Church has been converted into a 10-unit, mixed-income apartment house. Similar projects are under way in Canton and Madison Park.
Changing demographics threaten the survival of many of the city's architectural treasures, as congregations move away and former church properties fall into disuse and disrepair. Finding creative ways to preserve Baltimore's historic religious buildings truly a sacred trust that the present holds for future