BNHA Arch Social Club


Baltimore City Landmark

Interpretive Framework

Gaining Freedom for All: African American Heritage and the Struggle for Equality

Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century

Star Attractions

Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail

Resource Type

Points of Interest

2426 Pennsylvania Ave

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

The Arch Social Club is one of the oldest African American social clubs in the United States. During the early 1900s African Americans’ social activities were restricted and access to insurance was difficult. To counter these racist practices, the Arch Social Club was incorporated in 1912 “for the social, moral and intellectual uplift of its members and in order that charity may be practiced in a Christian-like spirit…” Club members visited the sick, attended funerals and supported widows, orphans and local charities. Benefits were paid to members during sickness or at time of death.

Formerly located in downtown Baltimore, the club moved to its present site on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1972. Many prominent African Americans—business leaders, community figures, and internationally renowned musicians—came through the club’s doors.