BNHA Arch Social Club
Baltimore City Landmark
Gaining Freedom for All: African American Heritage and the Struggle for Equality
Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century
Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail
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.