Baltimore County Almshouse

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Baltimore County Almshouse
Opened 1872
Closed 1958
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Single Building
Location Cockeysville, MD
Alternate Names


The Almshouse, constructed in 1872, was once home to the poor, indigent, mentally ill, and occasionally used as a hostel by travelers passing by. Sections of the Almshouse burned twice – in both the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – and were only partially rebuilt. The Almshouse was also previously used as a Civil Defense fall-out shelter in the midst of the Cold War, and retains its deposit of emergency paraphernalia.

In 1958, Baltimore County officials closed the historic facility, citing costs. Since its closure, the Almshouse has housed the Historical Society of Baltimore County (founded in 1959), and a variety of County government offices and other nonprofits. In 1980, the Almshouse was added to the County Landmarks List. Today, the Historical Society maintains its collections and offices, runs a research center for the public, and holds events in this historic structure.