The circular stone church is one of the most unusual buildings in Baltimore. Designed by Charles E. Cassell in Romanesque style with Byzantine touches, it was built for the Associate Reformed Church in 1889. Eighteen polished granite columns support the porch roof and carved foliage ornaments the porch, windows, doors and buttresses.
Left vacant in 1934 and slated to be razed for a filling station, the church was saved through the intervention of the Greek Orthodox congregation, which purchased it in 1937. A Greek inscription, meaning "House of God, Gateway to Heaven" was carved into the stone above the entrance. The altar was transformed into an orthodox one, glowing with icons and relics from the famous Greek monasteries of Mt. Athos.
In 1938, the church was consecrated in the Orthodox tradition by Archbishop Athenagoras of Archdiocese of North and South America. He was later named Patriarch of the Constantinople, the highest honor in Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Greek Orthodox parish, oldest and largest in Maryland, was elevated to the rank of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in 1975. It is one of the oldest Greek Orthodox parishes in the United States.
(Inscription under the image in the upper left) Patriarch Athenagoras.
(Inscription under the image in the lower right) Icon of the Annunciation
for which the Cathedral is named.
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Sponsor; William Donald Schaefer, Mayor