BNHA McKim Free School


Baltimore City Landmark

Endangered Maryland

National Register of Historic Places

Interpretive Framework

Seeking Prosperity on the Chesapeake: Baltimore History from Colonial Times through the 1800s

Star Attractions

Heritage Walk

Resource Type

Points of Interest

1120 E Baltimore St

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

The McKim Free School was established through a bequest of an annual $600 from the estate of Quaker merchant John McKim. John's son, Isaac McKim, selected a board of trustees, commissioned the construction of the graceful Greek Revival building, and founded the school.

The school was open to all indigent children regardless of gender. Its mission was "to provide the basis of extensive and lasting benefits to the poor, and to the interest of society, by the diffusion of useful knowledge and moral instruction among a class of society who have not the means of procuring these advantages for themselves." Generations of immigrant children learned English and other skills that helped them integrate into American society.

Over the years, the building has served many purposes in addition to a school. It has been a childcare facility and a place of worship for a Presbyterian congregation. Today it is used as a community center.