|Lexington and Calhoun Streets Painting,
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Painting by an unknown artist depicts the intersection of Lexington and Calhoun Streets, off Franklin Square, in West Baltimore prior to 1928. The two buildings to the left are the Aged Women's and Aged Men's Homes, designed by Thomas Dixon and constructed in 1849 and 1864, respectively. The Franklin Square Baptist Church (yellow) to the rear of the Aged Men's Home was purchased by the Homes in 1928 and subsequently razed. The property was enclosed with a brick wall and a garden was planted. The Bethany Methodist Episcopal Church (large white building) facing Lexington Street and the Franklin Square was later acquired by Franklin Square Hospital and subsequently razed. The Aged Women's and Aged Men's Homes were acquired by the City of Baltimore in 1959 and the Franklin Square Elementary School currently occupies the site. The Aged Women's and Aged Men's Homes were relocated to their current location in Towson, MD and became Pickersgill Retirement Community.
|The Star-Spangled Banner. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institute. The flag can be viewed at the National Museum of American History
As Maryland's oldest retirement community, Pickersgill's history dates back more than 200 years. Founded by a group of female patriots only a quarter of a century after the United States was born, the retirement community is named for Mary Young Pickersgill, who—along with her mother, daughter and two nieces-sewed the flag that flew over Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the British bombardment of the fort in the War of 1812.
The story begins in 1802 when a small group of concerned Baltimore women formed a charitable nonprofit organization, The Impartial Female Humane Society, to help Baltimore's poor widows and deserted wives. In the beginning, the organization sought to find employment for the destitute women, but eventually found that as they aged, they needed a suitable home.
Mary Pickersgill served as president of the Society in 1851 when the doors to the Aged Women's Home first opened at West Lexington Street and Franklin Square. Designed by architect Thomas Dixon, the Gothic Tudor building became a city landmark. Fourteen years later, an Aged Men's Home was built adjacent to the Aged Women's Home.
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By the 1950s, the original homes faced considerable repairs, and the city threatened to buy the buildings. The board of directors decided to build a new home. They chose a 16-acre site in Towson that had been familiar to the residents; it had served as a summer vacation retreat since 1943 when a bequest from Roberta and Augusta McLaughlin made the purchase of the property possible. The residents moved to the current location in 1959.
The new residence, designed by Bryden B. Hyde, was renamed Pickersgill in 1962. In the late 1970s a wing was added to the building with 28 resident rooms, an activities center and a beauty shop.
Pickersgill constructed 87 independent living apartments in the early 1990s. At the same time, Pickersgill enhanced the skilled nursing and assisted living areas, library, worship space, and outdoor walkways.
In 2005, Pickersgill embarked on a four-year-long project to renovate the entire portion of the 1950s building. The extensive renovations created new assisted living and skilled nursing rooms, activity rooms, lounges, library, dining areas, gardens, nursing stations, a new auditorium and administrative spaces.
Known for its rich traditions and comfortable accommodations, today our nonprofit retirement community offers seniors a comfortable retirement lifestyle with a variety of independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care accommodations.