Tag: Civil Rights heritage

Updated: Home of the Friendless up for auction rescheduled for Thursday, May 3

Update – April 13, 2018: The March 8 auction was cancelled. The auction was rescheduled for Thursday, May 3 at 12:00 p.m.

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 Thursday, May 3 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.

Home of the Friendless Property Information:

  • Address: 1313 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217
  • Lot size: 6,825 square feet
  • Interior size: 13,300 square feet
  • Zoning: Row House Residential District (R-8)

You can 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)

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund: Letter of Intent Deadline

The African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a new initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation providing grants in the range from $50,000 to $150,000. These grants are designed to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places such as sites, museums, and landscape projects representing African-American cultural heritage.

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A gothic stone church seen from the roof of a building across the street.

Explore the stories of the people (and landmarks) from Baltimore’s Civil Rights movement

Earlier this summer, we completed the first draft of our context study on Baltimore’s Civil Rights heritage. We’ve been working on this project for two years, together with the Maryland Historical Trust and Baltimore National Heritage Area, with funding from the National Park Service, Preservation Maryland, and PNC Foundation. The completed draft covers nearly 150 years of history, politics, activism, and change from 1831 to 1976. This fall, we’re asking you to take a look and share your reactions, comments, and suggestions!

At the beginning of the project in 2015, we created a website where we could share all of our research materials and writing online. By making our research accessible online to students, educators, historians, and activists, we hope to encourage more people to learn about the history of the Civil Rights movement in Baltimore and to preserve the historic places that help tell stories from the movement. We’re using a Creative Commons license for all of our writing and using GitHub (a popular platform for open source projects) to publish the website. Our goal is to make it easier to people to reuse or help improve the resources we’re making for this project.

A black man in uniform and a black woman wearing a dress and bonnet sitting for a portrait with their two daughters on each side.
Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters, c. 1863-1865. Library of Congress.

Where can you find the context study? You can read all six sections of the context study on our website beginning with the overview or you can download a PDF that compiles all six sections into a single document. But you can also browse a map and database of over 350 related sites, buildings, and landscapes we’ve identified during our research. We put together a new tour on Explore Baltimore Heritage, that you can use to find and see a few of these places for yourself. Finally, our timeline of events is an easy way to learn how local events responded to events affecting the Civil Rights movement in Maryland and the United States.

We welcome your comments on anything big or small. Did our study miss an important place or person? Do you think we have part of the history wrong? Did we cover the most relevant themes for each period? You can send us your comments by email to info@baltimoreheritage.org or by using our project feedback form. We also have a separate form if you want to suggest adding a place to our inventory.

A crowd of African American people looking towards a stage set up in front of a large modern office building.
Charles Plaza during the first Afro-American (AFRAM) Exposition, August 7-8, 1976. Special Collections, Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore, rbcae76n0705 (CC BY-NC-ND).
The words "Everyday Utopias" above a photo of the ladder at the edge of the former Pool No. 2 (now filled in and covered with grass)

Closing Reception! Everyday Utopias: Druid Hill Park Exhibition Exhumes the Promises of a Once-Segregated Pool

Come out for the closing reception of Everyday Utopias at Pool No. 2 in Druid Hill Park! The reception features a performance by Fluid Movement at 5:00 pm; an artist talk and poolside discussion at 6:00 pm and a film projection of photos from Henry Phillips, Sr. narrated by Irv Phillips, Jr. beginning at 7:45 pm.

Pool No. 2 (1921-1956) operated as a segregated pool in the historically black section of Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park. From the initial campaign to construct the city’s first public pool for black people to the resolute activism that led to its eventual closure, Pool No. 2 reflects the quotidian pragmatism of an “everyday utopia”—a term coined specifically to define those creative practices that we engage in daily to find new and better ways to improve our lives and the world around us.

Everyday Utopias invites viewers to consider the promise of both real and imagined aspects of civic participation as they navigate their way through physical structures and spiritual spaces of the pool’s remains. Pool No.2 was a local flashpoint for the discourse on race that was happening nationally in American society during the mid-1950s and is a physical reminder that the failures and struggles of our efforts at civic repair are just as important as the successes.

Sheena M. Morrison, MFA Candidate in MICA’s Curatorial Practice Program, brings together eleven contemporary artists who respond to the palpable history of Pool No. 2 with imaginative wit, humor, and compassion. Artists in the exhibition: Billy Colbert, Sutton Demlong, Andrew Keiper, Fluid Movement, Tiffany Jones, Lauren R. Lyde, Antonio McAfee, Kameelah Rasheed, Edward-Victor Sanchez, Michael Trueblood and MacArthur Genius Fellow Joyce J. Scott.

The words "Everyday Utopias" above a photo of the ladder at the edge of the former Pool No. 2 (now filled in and covered with grass)

Everyday Utopias: Druid Hill Park Exhibition Exhumes the Promises of a Once-Segregated Pool

Please join Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) MFA program in Curatorial Practice and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks for the opening reception of Everyday Utopias, a public art installation at Pool No. 2 in Druid Hill Park. Everyday Utopias invites viewers to consider the promise of both real and imagined aspects of civic participation as they navigate their way through physical structures and spiritual spaces of the pool’s remains.

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