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1853–1854, John W. Priest; 1928 addition. 12025 Reisterstown Rd.

St. Michael’s was built through the efforts of the Reverend Arthur John Rich, chaplain at the adjacent Hannah More Academy, an Episcopal girls’ boarding school founded in 1838. With the construction of St. Michael’s, students and local residents could move their worship services out of the school building and into a proper church. It served in this capacity for several decades until the construction of All Saints near the center of town (1891, Longfellow, Alden and Harlow; 208 E. Chatsworth Avenue). St. Michael’s was closed and then reopened as a chapel for the school in 1908.

New York City architect Priest was a leading church designer, before his early death in 1859. He was a founding member of the New York Ecclesiological Society, which promoted the ideals of authentic medieval architecture for Episcopal churches and, with Richard Upjohn, was one of the founding members of the American Institute of Architects. His design for this small rural chapel exemplified his approach to Gothic Revival form, plan, and materials for parish churches and recalls the church designs published by Upjohn in Rural Architecture (1852). The board-and-batten church has steeply pitched roofs on the nave, entrance porch, and chancel and is modestly decorated with simple vergeboards and a bell cote. The entrance porch projects from the west side of the three-bay nave, and the lower three-bay-long chancel includes a shed roof sacristy on its east side. Originally two bays, the chancel was extended in 1928. Lancet windows and pointed-arched openings at the porch complete the textbook example of Gothic Revival.

The interior is similarly restrained and well detailed, with exposed principal rafter roof trusses between an oiled pine ceiling, oak pews arranged on either side of a central aisle, an oak altar rail dividing the chancel into choir and sanctuary, and a heavy oak altar pierced by a quatrefoil design on its sides. The stained and enameled glass windows were fabricated in Brooklyn by H. P. Bloor and Company at the direction of the architect. The church was deconsecrated in 1978 and acquired along with the adjacent Hannah More Academy (main building built 1858) by Baltimore County. Currently the campus is used as a special education school.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1853


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Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "ST. MICHAELS CHURCH (HANNAH MORE CHAPEL)", [Reisterstown, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 256-257.

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