Rita Church Community Center

Baltimore, MD

Details
Contributing structure in a National Register Historic District
Multi-purpose room, basketball court, concessions
Learning center, game room, craft room, lounge
Designed in accordance with Baltimore City Green Building Standards
Owner
Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks
Services
Programming, Community Involvement, Cost Estimating, Sustainable Design, Interior Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration

Designed in 1920 as a two-level bath house fashioned in Classical Revival style, the rehabilitated community center is a contributing structure in a National Register Historic District. Previously neglected and left untouched, the rehabilitation of this dilapidated structure breathed new life into the facility and made it a safe, beautiful destination for the community.

Before
Before
After
After

What Our Clients Say

"The new Rita R. Church Community Center provides an anchor for the Clifton Park community that includes a safe, beautiful space, allowing children to create memories that last a lifetime. ... This center is a manifestation of the city's goal to transition aging recreation centers into a new network of high-quality community center in order to better serve Baltimore residents."

—Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Mayor, City of Baltimore

Rehabilitation included the exterior, in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, as well as the interior. The original fabric of the exterior was in relatively good condition; hence the majority could be restored. Non-contributing later additions to the original structure that distracted from the original concept were removed. Masonry blocks and wood panels that had been used to fill in some openings were removed and replaced with doors or panels to complement the style of the original structure. The upper level open-air pavilion was enclosed with a curtain wall system—containing both solid and glazed panels that serve as a back-drop to the original columns that define the space—that is located behind the pilasters and complements the structure’s proportions. The upper level program is comprised of various multi-use spaces including a tall open space lounge that displays elements of the historic structure, such as the heavy timber trusses and masonry chimneys. 

Awards

Maryland Historical Trust Preservation Award
Baltimore Heritage Award

The gymnasium addition’s massing and materials are designed to be sympathetic with the classical design of the pool house, including masonry piers that modulate the exterior.  Green design strategies include an extensive green roof, geothermal heating and cooling system, and sustainable materials