From the Sulpicians / the St. Mary’s Spiritual Center: An Addition to 600 N. Paca Street

From the Sulpicians / the St. Mary’s Spiritual Center:

The Society of the Priests of St. Sulpice is the only Roman Catholic order that holds the mission of educating, guiding, and supporting fellow diocesan priests. The Sulpicians first settled in Baltimore in 1791, at the Paca Street location that still serves as their foundational center.

Last summer, as part of the regional Catholic Church’s effort to recruit new priests, the Sulpicians established a one­ year introductory program to be administered on Paca Street. The program will convene fourteen students for a year of concentrated study. The property’s rich history and recently developed Visitor Center makes Paca Street the ideal location to host this immersive program. The Sulpicians must build a small residence to accommodate these new students.

Constructing a project like this deserves substantive communication with both neighbors and the city. Because Seton Hill is a historic neighborhood, major projects like the one planned here require approval from the city’s Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation, which values input from nearby residents. We have worked with staff at the city’s Department of Planning and coordinated with the Seton Hill Neighborhood Association to design a building that concurrently meets historical guidelines, satisfies the Sulpicians’ needs, and blends with neighborhood interests.

The resulting proposal is a three-story residence hall that tucks into the property’s southeast corner, on what is now an enclosed parking lot. The design satisfies the Planning Department’s recommendation for a development that adds a modern touch to the landmark property and plays on the charming themes you see throughout Seton Hill, nodding to the varied rowhomes, the double-hung windows, and the iconic red brick front. Notice, too, the absence of any existing brick wall fortressing the property. We’ll remove it as part of our work, to further connect these new students with the vibrant community in which they’ll live.

We welcome feedback on this design. To view these renderings online, visit Please submit comments to by Friday, May 12.