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Associated Congregational Church, Baltimore, MD

August 5, 2016

Prominent Baltimore architect Charles E. Cassell (formerly Casselli) [1842-1916] designed several churches for a variety of denominations. Few of them, however, show any tendencies toward the Akron-Auditorium plan. A major exception is Associated Congregational Church at Maryland Avenue and West Preston Street in Baltimore.

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His use of cylindrical forms is more than Romanesque; they are almost Early Christian in their simplicity. The three cylinders that form the main portion of the church suggest an auditorium sanctuary but the Sunday School seems inconveniently placed for a true Akron relationship with it. Fortunately a plan published in the 1890s confirms my suspicion that Cassell’s church belongs in this study. Cassell’s Sunday School has long since been replaced with a post-WWII shoe box.

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At some point the church was sold and became Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, whose “Byzantine” orientation might actually enjoy the focused sanctuary space.

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