On Tuesday, a new nonprofit led by Bob Brown announced the launch of a fundraising campaign to buy the Johns Hopkins birthplace in Gambrills. The Johns Hopkins House wants to renovate the structure and transform the house into a restaurant, inn and museum.
Johns Hopkins is a renowned American philanthropist and entrepreneur that assisted in starting the university and hospital that now bear his name.
On May 19, 1795, Hopkins was born in the White Hall house. According to historical evaluation form, Hopkins resided on the White Hall plantation in Anne Arundel County until he was 17 years.
Polm Cos. purchased the property about a decade ago through development interest. Rick Polm, Polm Cos. President, sought a demolition permit to knock down the building, but later changed his mind. The firm announced in April 2016 that it would instead seek a “suitable and qualified preservation buyer.”
The Johns Hopkins House hopes to become the new owner of the property. Brown said the charity is not associated with Johns Hopkins University. In 1910, Brown’s grandfather bought the circa-1760 home, where his mother was later born in 1920. His grandfather finally sold the house some time during the Second World War.
Brown has interest in the property, because of its significant connection to his family, the structure is important for its architecture and the significance of Johns Hopkins. According to Anne Arundel County, the structure is of a “high” historic significance, all the more reason for Brown to want to protect it.
According to county information, the Georgian home’s architectural style is among the few to survive in Anne Arundel.
The nonprofit has also kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to raise $298,000, which will be enough for a down payment and mortgage payments that will be deposited into an escrow account.