Historic Frederick church in the midst of a facelift

Greg Swatek, The Frederick News-Post, Md.
·1 min read

Apr. 9—As it inches closer to its 300th birthday, Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Frederick is getting a much-needed facelift.

In November, scaffolding went up around one of the church's famed twin spires to begin restoration work on the front façade of the church. The restoration is slated to be completed in June.

The $1.1 million project is being handled by Howard County-based The Durable Restoration Company, which works extensively on historic churches.

Located on Church Street across from Winchester Hall, Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1738 as the first church in Frederick County and served as a field hospital during the Civil War.

"I love bringing back a building that is home to so many," said Julie Butler, who serves as the preservation director for Durable.

Butler combed over the front façade extensively in an 80-foot lift during the assessment process, and she helped guide the church through the approval process with the Frederick County Historic Preservation Commission.

"I know the building almost intimately at this point," she said. "I touched the spires. I feel a personal connection to it and wanted to make sure the job was going to get done correctly so that [the building] is able to persevere through time."

The church launched a years-long capital campaign to help pay for the project in 2015.

"I think there is a bit of rallying around something tangible," said Neil Donnelly, a former church council president for Evangelical Lutheran who served as a point person for bringing Durable on board. "The fact that members of the congregation can go out into the community and raise funds says something about the role this church plays in this community."

Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter:

@greg_swatek