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May 18, 2015 / Love Letters

Love Letters: Hampden Presbyterian Church

church+co

Image courtesy the author

H.P.C.,

I didn’t notice you at first. I don’t think most people did, which is strange because you are the most striking building on the block.

I’ll never forget the landlord’s note at the bottom of the lease: “I know you’ll change everything…” I tore out everything from when they turned you into offices, the clinic and the community center. I was too compulsive. Once I thought I’d never see you again and I cried when I reached the bottom and lost sight of you. My heart would break if I ever lost you.

Eventually your potential became obvious, people often gasp when they reach the top of the steps. I can’t contain myself I am so excited. We are still patching holes and adding trim. The day we replace the missing windows will be so special. This is awfully romantic.

You are 140 years old this year. There are shoppers downstairs, brides rushing up the back stairwell, standing ovations and even acrobats twirling above where the drop ceiling once was. There are photo shoots, committee meetings and renown musicians.

It’s becoming difficult to not notice you.

With all my love,

Alex

Alex Fox runs Church & Company, a design project in the former Hampden Presbyterian Church, (George A. Frederick, 1875). The project is funded through space rentals to various individuals and organizations. He also lives in the building. Church & Company will be participating in Doors Open Baltimore 2015.

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