Good news for Baltimore’s Hebrew Orphan Asylum in 2013

Hebrew Orphan AsylumWe are excited to begin the year with some good news for the future of Baltimore’s Hebrew Orphan Asylum. With the Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation taking the lead, we have made great strides towards the preservation and reuse of this important West Baltimore landmark.

  • Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development has granted the Coppin Heights CDC $100,000 to stabilize the building. Not only does stabilization address the building’s severely compromised roof but it also allows architects and engineers to work safely inside to assess conditions and complete redevelopment plans.
  • Coppin Heights CDC has now secured $10 million in state and federal funding with support from the Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program, the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, and the New Markets Tax Credit program. This is great progress towards securing the resources necessary to restore the building and bring it back as an asset to the neighborhoods of Greater Rosemont.
  • Finally, just this afternoon, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced that West Baltimore, including the area around the Hebrew Orphan Asylum,  one of five new Health Enterprise Zones across the state – a program that opens up new incentives for providing medical care to residents in under served neighborhoods like West Baltimore. The announcement comes as a welcome news, as the Hebrew Orphan Asylum is slated to be transformed into the Center for Health Care and Healthy Living to help address the same health disparities that the new Health Enterprise Zone is designed to reduce.

At Coppin State University, the building’s current owner, Dr. Mortimer Neufville is stepping in to serve as interim president after the resignation of Dr. Reginald Avery. Dr. Neufville takes the helm in a new day for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum as both CSU and the larger University of Maryland system have expressed their strong support for the project and are working together to make sure the building is restored and reused. Things are moving quickly for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and we are more than optimistic that 2013 will see great steps forward for its preservation and reuse as a center for revitalization in West Baltimore.

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About Johns

Johns Hopkins has been the executive director of Baltimore Heritage since 2003. Before that, Johns worked for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development developing and implementing smart growth and neighborhood revitalization programs. Johns holds degrees from Yale University, George Washington University Law School, and the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.