Historic Elkridge Church Repairing Damage After Quake
Trinity on the Pike, built in 1857, has raised $91,000 to fix cracked facade, other issues.
The earthquake that rattled Maryland last August is still fresh in Rev. John “Skip” Steiner’s mind. Evidence of the quake remains inside and out at Trinity Episcopal in Elkridge, where a crack zigzags up the exterior and the floor inside is separating from the wall.
If it doesn't get fixed, "the steeple would come down," said Steiner. "It would probably come down inside the church."
Trinity, which was built in 1857, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Steiner said that the structural issues with the church have built up over time.
"It's deferred maintenance," he explained, standing in front of the cracked facade. The last time Trinity did any major work was 1976, he said, when it put on an addition and re-shingled the steeple.
After the earthquake, the problems became more pronounced; the pulpit sank down, for example, he said.
Other needed repairs include replacing cracked stones on the church's exterior wall; putting a larger footer underneath the wall; and restoring the stained glass windows, which, Steiner said tend to bend.
Permitting is not required for restoration unless federal funds are involved, according to the National Register of Historic Places.
Steiner said that the process of applying for federal funds would require the church to give up some of its autonomy, which church officials chose not to do.
Taking the matter on itself instead, the church recently launched a fundraising campaign for the restoration, which Steiner said will cost $142,000.
In the past few months, Steiner said the church has raised $91,000.
"Technically, we just sent the letters out," said Steiner last week. "But we've been talking about it, so people know what's going on."