MedChi had been housed at several locations throughout Baltimore since its origins in 1799, including buildings on Eutaw, Calvert and Fayette Streets. Under the leadership of Sir William Osler, MedChi began growing, and in particular, the library collection expanded greatly, necessitating the need for more space. In 1909, MedChi purchased the lot at 1211 Cathedral Street and built the northern of the two current buildings for its library and offices.
In the late 1950’s, the MedChi building underwent extensive renovations which were completed in 1961, and the building was re-dedicated in 1962. It was also re-dedicated on its 100th Anniversary.
By the 1970’s, MedChi was expanding, and needed more space. Luckily, the adjacent building, the former University School for Boys and then the Robert E. Lee Junior High School, had been vacant since it closed in the 1960’s.
MedChi was able to purchase the building from Baltimore City for $1.00. We then renovated it and use it for offices.
As part of the renovation, the two structures were merged, and as you move between the two buildings, you will notice oddly-angled halls, steps and other unusual transitions. However, on the exterior, the transition is seamless.
In addition to the school building, we also took possession of the original school gymnasium, which fronts on Maryland Avenue. It was renovated and now houses the MedChi Agency.
For more information about MedChi’s historic buildings, click Architecture for a PDF brochure.