Home of the Friendless up for auction on Thursday, March 8 1870 landmark on Druid Hill Avenue needs a developer with a plan for reuse

Update: The March 8 auction was cancelled. Look out for additional updates on the development of this building when we have more information available.

The former Home of the Friendless, an 1870 orphanage located at 1313 Druid Hill Avenue in Upton, is up for sale in a foreclosure auction scheduled for this Thursday, March 8 at 12:00 p.m. Two years ago, Baltimore Housing awarded the building to local developer AZ Group through the Vacants to Value Surplus Property Sale. Unfortunately, while the building was approved for state historic tax credits last year, the plan to convert the 13,300-square-foot building into seventeen apartments never found the financing required for rehabilitation work to begin.

Home of the Friendless/Druid Health Center. Baltimore Heritage (CC0)

With this new sale, we’re hoping the building finds a new developer that recognizes the importance of this West Baltimore landmark and find a way to bring it back to life. Learn more about the auction by Melnick Auctioneers or see photographs of the Home of the Friendless on Flickr.

You can also read about the history of the building in the National Register landmark nomination (PDF) by Fred Shoken or our brief Explore Baltimore Heritage story.

Two park benches facing a cast-iron fountain in the middle of a small planting bed.
Henry Highland Garnet Park with the Home of the Friendless in the background. Baltimore Heritage (CC0)

Join us at Hayles and Howe Ornamental Plasterwork and Scagliola on March 14 Don't miss this rare look at the restoration of ornate plaster-work from a landmark theatre

One of Baltimore’s premier artisan plaster studios, Hayles & Howe Ornamental Plasterwork and Scagliola, is currently working on a remarkable project: the restoration of ornate moldings and ceiling elements from Philadelphia’s historic Metropolitan theater. Please join us for a rare chance to see these craftspeople in action!

Metropolitan Theatre, Philadelphia in 2012. Photograph by Chandra Lampreich, 2012. Courtesy Hidden City Philadelphia.

Our late afternoon tour on Wednesday, March 14—Awards from the President to the Queen: Inside Hayles and Howe Ornate Plasterwork and Scagliola—isn’t in Philadelphia, of course, but at the company’s studio on Sisson Street in Remington. This 4:00 p.m. tour is a little earlier than most of our Behind the Scenes tours so you can meet the skilled people working on this project. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dusty and sign up soon—we expect tickets to sell out!

Drinks at a storied historic bar and an architectural tour at a massive historic church Plus a talk in Hampden tonight on the history of Poole & Hunt

If you want to learn a little Baltimore history in a storied restaurant and bar, we’ve got you covered on Tuesday, March 6 for Baltimore on Show: A Behind the Scenes Tour and Drink at The Elephant. In addition to learning wonderful history, your fifteen dollar ticket includes the bar’s signature Tiffany Punch cocktail!

If you gravitate more towards fantastic architecture, join us on our Blending Gothic and Modern on a Massive Scale where will explore the rich details of the Cathedral of Mary our Queen (the third largest cathedral in the country!) on Thursday, March 15.

Finally, don’t forget to stop by the Hampden library tonight for a talk by Nathan Dennies on how Poole & Hunt became Clipper Mill! I hope to see you there.

A close view of a three-story brick building.

Beat the winter blues by exploring local history at MedChi and along the Jones Falls And don't forget about Maryland History Advocacy Day in Annapolis tomorrow

How do you beat the winter blues in Baltimore? Grab a friend and join us for heritage tours, talks, and more this February.

Our next tour is Napoleon’s Medical Box and 200 Years of History at MedChi on February 13. Founded in 1799, MedChi is the state’s medical society and their archives are a treasure trove for history-lovers. On February 22, we are proud to co-host a free talk by Nathan Dennies of the Greater Hampden Heritage Alliance, From Poole & Hunt to Clipper Mill: A Short History, on the long and winding history of the Jones Falls.

If you’re able to spend a day in Annapolis, we also hope to see you tomorrow at the 2018 Maryland History Advocacy Day organized by Preservation Maryland. We need Baltimore’s residents to speak up to support funding for key preservation programs like the state historic tax credit and the Maryland Heritage Area program.

Call for 2018 Preservation Award nominations! Send us your nomination for a project or achievement award by February 14

A lot of great preservation work happened in Baltimore last year. Local developers fixed up historic buildings, neighbors volunteered as tour guides, and architects made plans for remarkable restorations. Please help us discover all the great preservation work that took place in 2017 and all the people behind it! We need your nominations for Baltimore Heritage’s annual preservation awards and we are accepting submissions through Wednesday, February 14. Please send us a nomination today! Self nominations are welcome.

2017 Achievement Award Recipient, Herring Run Archaeology Project. Photograph by Jason Shellenhamer, 2015 May 16.

Our awards recognize preservation work of all varieties. Our Heritage Achievement Awards honor people who have made a contribution to Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods.
Do you have a friend who is tireless in promoting their historic neighborhood? Did you write a book on Baltimore history or architecture? Or volunteer with a local heritage nonprofit? Our Heritage Achievement Awards seek to recognize people and organizations that support, protect, and celebrate historic places.

2017 Project Award Recipient, Lion Brothers Building.

Our Preservation Project Awards honor owners, architects, contractors, and craftspeople who have recently completed brick-and-mortar projects, from restoring a historic rowhouse to creating new spaces in a former brewery or factory. We know that preservation work comes in all sizes and often requires a whole team of people, from developers and architects to masons, plumbers, and electricians. When we give out awards, we want to recognize all the people who make a rehab project happen!

Please take a look at our award categories and guidelines or go ahead and send in a nomination for a project award or achievement award today. We try to keep the process quick and easy but, if you run into trouble, please give me a call at 410-332-9992 or send me an email at hopkins@baltimoreheritage.org.

We are accepting nominations up until Wednesday February 14, 2018 so send in your nomination or help spread the word! Thank you for helping us recognize Baltimore’s heritage stewards. Stay tuned for details on our annual awards celebration this spring.