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East Coast quake closes historic Baltimore church

The Archdiocese of Baltimore says a church damaged by the East Coast earthquake is expected to be closed for weeks while damage to a steeple is repaired.

Church officials say St. Patrick Catholic Church in Fells Point has been deemed unsafe and the badly damaged steeple will be deconstructed and stabilized, a process that could take several weeks. The church will reopen when the work is completed.

The archdiocese says the church houses the oldest Catholic parish in Baltimore, founded in 1792. Officials say shuttles are being provided for parishioners to attend a church in the city’s nearby Highlandtown neighborhood.

Church officials say two other parishes reported minor damage, but St. Patrick’s is the only Catholic church in the archdiocese that has been closed because of the quake.