Justice Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center @ PS103

Development, Financial Advisory, Owner's Rep


Completed

Summer 2023

Client

Beloved Community Services Corp

CSP Role

Co-Development, Owners Rep, Financial Advisory

Contact

Carla Hinson

Download a PDF of this project

Cross Street Partners and Beloved Community Services Corp are redeveloping the Henry Garnet School (PS103) into the Justice Thurgood Marshall Amenty Center at PS 103 which, with University of Maryland as a partner, will honor the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights leaders who called Upton home while also providing needed community services, resources, and education in the historically underserved community.

The Amenity Center will be a major step forward in establishing Upton as a cultural tourism destination to celebrate and honor the community’s significance in the nation’s Civil Rights Movement. The new Justice Thurgood Marshall Center will help the Upton community actualize its community vision, which commits to “reclaim the vestiges of its distinct African American heritage and be the hub of a cultural revitalization where the memory of the great entertainers, artists and civic leaders who proudly proclaimed Upton as their neighborhood will serve as a beacon by drawing investments back into the community.”

Located in the center of Baltimore’s Upton community, PS 103 was built in 1877 and was a segregated elementary school for African American children. One of its most recognizable students was Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American appointed to the US Supreme Court, who attended the school from 1914 – 1921. PS 103 was a prominent elementary school until it closed in the early 1970s, and then the building was converted to a recreational center that provided nonprofit office space for community organizations until it was permanently closed in the early 1990s. After sitting vacant for over 20 years, a fire nearly destroyed PS 103 in 2016; luckily, after replacing the roof and making other structural repairs, the bones of the building remained in good shape.

 

PS 103 Groundbreaking video

PS 103 Flyer

Beloved Community Services Corp website

Baltimore’s Upton community was once a thriving middle-class African American community where Black community members owned businesses, led social organizations, and generated political power. Reimagining PS 103 represents an opportunity to celebrate the community’s historic significance while investing in its future by inspiring a new generation of Black leaders in the community and throughout the City of Baltimore.

Anticipated Uses

• Applied Research and Community Education will be a pillar of the space through the anchor tenant, University of Maryland’s Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Center for Education, Justice and Ethics. A speaker series, ethics training, and applied social justice research will transform the space into a forum where solutions addressing the systemic challenges confronting Baltimore can be pushed forward. (100-150 residents served annually)

• Community Services and Programming including workforce development programming in partnership with the Maryland Aviation Administration, an evidence-based public health approach to gun violence intervention, legal support services and advocacy, and restorative social justice programming that aims to shift the trajectory of at-risk youth, and by extension, their communities. (100-150 residents served annually)

• Interpretive Museum and Exhibit Space honoring civil rights leaders who have ties to the Upton community including Justice Thurgood Marshall and Walter Sondheim. It will also display a re-creation of the campaign office of the late Honorable Elijah E. Cummings using campaign materials bequeathed to the Sponsor. A historic classroom will be restored to its original condition.

The Project named in honor of Justice Marshall may become a protected site and managed in perpetuity by the National Park Service. This distinction will create a new tourist attraction for West Baltimore that will help to spur additional residential, commercial, and hospitality development throughout the Upton community.

In The News: Justice Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center @ PS103

2101 E.Biddle Street, Suite 1201 Baltimore, MD 21213