Morgan State students working on Memorial Chapel, 2019.

National Park Services Grant Awarded to Morgan State University for Historic Chapel Restoration

05/11/2020
By Meagan Baco

Morgan State University was recently awarded a grant from the National Park Service to continue its work repairing the historic University Memorial Chapel on campus in Baltimore City.

Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning founded 25 years ago, has become a leader in diversifying new entrants into the architecture and preservation fields. As reported by the University, Morgan State is ranking first among higher education institutions in Maryland, and sixth nationally, in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to African Americans in architecture and related services in 2016-2017.

One of the ways the students were given hands-on experience with historic materials and restoration work was through a program by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, called Touching History: Preservation in Practice. Preservation in Practice is a program the ACHP spearheaded with the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation introducing architecture students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to historic preservation work. With support from Advisory Council and funding from the National Park Service, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew came to Morgan State last summer. Morgan State students worked alongside preservationists and other apprentices to begin work on the University Memorial Chapel’s historic windows.

Image of the ca. 1941-1961 Morgan State University Memorial Chapel.

In continued support of this project, the National Park Service announced in April a grant award of $500,000 for additional work needed at the University Memorial Chapel on the Morgan campus. Seventeen other projects across the country also received awards in this grant round. Since the 1990s, the National Park Service has awarded more than $60 million in grants to over 80 of the remaining active HBCUs. Applications for $10 million in FY2020 funding will be available in the fall of 2020.

In the documentation for its National Register of Historic Places nomination, the University Memorial Chapel is described as, “a modern interpretation of the Collegiate Gothic style.” The architect, Albert Irving Cassell, was a prominent mid-twentieth-century African American architect who also designed iconic buildings on the Howard University campus in Washington, DC.

Learn more about University Memorial Chapel

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Meagan Baco · Director of Communications

Meagan Baco shares the stories of the Old Line State’s important history and unique places – and the people working to preserve it, through Preservation Maryland’s website and publications.

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