This property is really amazing — you have to see it in person to appreciate its impact. Unfortunately, it’s also owned by the City and therefore, falling into ruin. It is on the National Register of Historic Properties.
Property Address: 1313 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217 (Home of the Friendless)
Property Owner: Mayor and City Council, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
City Council District and Contact: District 11, Eric T. Costello
State Senator: Shirley Nathan-Pulliam
State Delegate: Keith Haynes
You can read about the property’s history here.
The original historic register application is here.
From the Maryland Code, 1870:
The justices of the peace for Baltimore city, the trustees of the poor for said city, may commit to the care and charge of the home of the friendless, instead of sending to the almshouse, all children, whether male or female, who are destitute or suffering for want of support, or may be found begging about the streets of the city, or who are children of beggars.
The home of the friendless, and the managers thereof, may retain the said children under their care until they shall be of eighteen years of age, or for any shorter period, and may bind them out for a time, not to exceed the age of eighteen years, in the case of females, and of twenty-one years in the case of males, as apprentices of any trade or business, or in the case of females, also to learn to be useful in housewifery, or may under terms proper, in view of the said managers, and to be stipulated by them, place them for adoption, or as inmates with any families or persons; and the said corporation in the exercise of any of the powers vested in them by this section, of binding or placing out said minors, shall not be limited to places within the State.
All instruments binding out or placing said children shall be in writing, signed by the president and at least two managers of said corporation, and by the persons taking the children as apprentices or otherwise, and shall be acknowledged by the persons signing the same before a justice of the peace for Baltimore city, and within six months of the date thereof recorded in the office of the register of wills of said city.
If any parent or guardian or any any judge of the orphans’ court of Baltimore city, or any justice of the peace for said city shall place under the care and control of the home of the friendless, any child, whether male or female, under the age of eighteen years, of the description of children hereinbefore mentioned, or as suffering through the extreme indigence or vagrancy or bad habits or neglect of parents, or from cruelty of intemperate parents, or as being illegitimate, or children of persons out of the State without sufficient sustenance, the said corporation and the managers thereof shall hold and control such children, with power to bind or place them out as hereinbefore provided.
Any constable or police officer of said city, upon application of any manager of the home of the friendless, or of his own accord, may carry before any judge of the orphans’ court for said city, or any justice of the peace, any child of the description mentioned in the preceding section, to be dealt with as therein provided.