Thurgood Marshall House

Thurgood Marshall House

1632 Division Street, in West Baltimore’s Upton neighborhood, is the childhood home of Thurgood Marshall, the legendary Baltimore-born civil rights lawyer who successfully argued Brown v. Board of Education and later became the United States’ first African American Supreme Court justice.'

The Vision
Despite the challenges in the neighborhoods around it, 1632 Division Street, known as “Thurgood Marshall House” (historical marker here) is in solid condition, and in very close proximity to both mass transit (the Upton metro and the #7 bus) and the key community assets in the area, like churches and mosques, a park, the Shake & Bake Family Fun Center, and the Druid Hill Y, where Thurgood Marshall went as a kid.

Our vision is to turn Thurgood Marshall House into a civil rights resource center for Upton and the surrounding West Baltimore neighborhoods (and ultimately the city), and a center of learning and gathering for others passionate about the fight for equality.

  • Community Legal Resource Center. Most free legal services in the city are provided downtown, which can be a trek for residents of West Baltimore, many of whom do not own a car. Thurgood Marshall House will bring these legal services to them by providing a satellite location for those services right in the neighborhood. Residents of the community will be able to go to Thurgood Marshall House to receive free legal advice on concerns ranging from discriminatory housing and lending practices to unequal treatment by police to other inequalities. Potential partners on site include legal services organizations like the Legal Aid Bureau and Community Law Center, law school clinic personnel, law firm pro bono practices, government service providers like the Baltimore Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, and established organizations like the NAACP, GBUL, Alternative Directions and the ACLU. These partners, who will be able to use the house as a satellite location, on a rotating basis, to reach more people as well as foster greater inter-organizational communications and collaborations. Three of the House’s four sizable bedrooms will be converted into shared office space for this purpose.
  • Equal Protection Learning Hub. Thurgood Marshall House will also be available for visitors and community groups to use to advance learning about the history and challenges of fights for equal protection – including the history of Thurgood Marshall’s legal career – and ways to advance equal opportunity in West Baltimore. The front parlor on first floor of the House will be used to provide educational resources that honor the life and work of Thurgood Marshall. The entire first floor of the House – which also includes a central conference room and a rear kitchen and enclosed porch – will be available to reserve for groups wanting to gather to study issues of inequality in Baltimore or engage in community empowerment (e.g., “teach-ins,” learning sessions, know-your-rights trainings, public talks). One of the house’s four bedrooms would be available for use by out-of-town guest speakers/trainers/facilitators.