Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church


Dedicated on December 4, 1870, Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church stands as a monument both to George Brown, whose wife Isabella McLanahan Brown supported the construction of the church in his memory, and the generations of Baltimoreans who have worshipped, performed music, and more in this treasured architectural landmark. While many early congregations left Bolton Hill, Brown Memorial has endured and invested in the preservation of the historic church with a $1.8 million restoration from 2001 to 2003.

George Brown was the son of investment firm founder Alexander Brown, a businessman and civic leader who according to an 1873 account by local historian George Washington Howard, "regarded religion as preeminent above all other things and loved his church with all the ardor of his noble nature." After his death in 1859, his wife Isabella McLanahan Brown made a gift of $150,000 to construct and furnish the Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church.

The architects were Nathaniel Henry Hutton and John Murdoch, who were among the 18 charter members of the Baltimore Chapter of the AIA. They created a Gothic Revival masterpiece with numerous stained glass windows by artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. Murdoch was both a neighbor to the church, living at 1527 Bolton Street, and his funeral was held at the church after his death in 1923.

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Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church

Illustration of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1888.

Image courtesy Weishampel's Baltimore guide - The stranger in Baltimore: a new hand book, containing a general description of Baltimore City (1888), Internet Archive, weishampelsbalti01weis.

George Brown

Image courtesy A hundred years of merchant banking, a history of Brown brothers and company... (1909), Internet Archive, hundredyearsofme00browuoft.

John Sparhawk Jones

Photograph of John Sparhawk Jones, 1904.

Image courtesy Seeing Darkly (1904) by John Sparhawk Jones, Internet Archive, seeingdarkly00jone.

Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2012

Photograph of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church by Eli Pousson, May 10, 2012.

Image courtesy Baltimore Heritage.

Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church

Undated photograph of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church by an unknown photographer.

Image courtesy the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore City Life Collection, MC4753.

Cite this Page

Eli Pousson, “Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church,” Explore Baltimore Heritage, accessed September 1, 2014, http:/​/​explore.​baltimoreheritage.​org/​items/​show/​74.​
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