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Preservationists launch web campaign to save Baltimore’s Hebrew Orphan Asylum

Baltimore Heritage is looking for online votes to help them win $25,000 to save the oldest Jewish orphanage building in the United States, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in west Baltimore.

Whichever project gets the most votes by the Sept. 15 deadline wins this cash contribution from the organizer of the challenge, the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

To vote, and to learn more about the “This Place Matters Community Challenge, go here. Here’s a link to the Baltimore Heritage’s Facebook page.

Abandoned buildings don’t get much cooler than this one. Here’s some of the history Baltimore Heritage unearthed at this location (2700 Rayner Avenue, in the Greater Rosemont neighborhood.) Baltimore Heritage describes that history on their online bid to win the $25,000:

Our research uncovered nearly 200 years of development at the site– beginning in 1815 with the construction of “Calverton,” a country home for Baltimore banker Dennis Smith. The site became home to a series of essential Baltimore institutions, from the Baltimore City and County Almshouse (1820-1866), to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum (1872-1923), the West Baltimore General Hospital (1923-1945), and finally the Lutheran Hospital of Maryland (1945-1989). The current red brick Victorian Romanesque building, designed in 1876 for the Hebrew Orphan Asylum by the architectural partnership of Lupus & Roby, has been vacant since 1989 and recently suffered a partial roof collapse.

Here’s more information on the building from Baltimore Heritage and a piece in the Brew on this cool, crumbling Victorian Romanesque landmark.

Baltimore Heritage has two partners as  they work to preserve the building: Coppin State University, where the building sits, and the Coppin Heights Community Development Corporation.

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