The Pickersgill Retirement Center has broken ground on a $17.7 million renovation that will more than double the size of the 150-resident Baltimore County "life-care" facility.
All of the new apartments have already been leased, according to Brantley C. Hart Jr., Pickersgill's executive director, something he attributes to the center's "pay-as-you-go" concept. The expansion will add 87 apartments and 102,000 square feet to the center's existing 88,500 square feet.
"In our marketing surveys, we had received a great deal of interest because of the type of facilities we're offering and the types of fee scales," Hart said.
Many life-care facilities require a heavy, up-front expense, Hart said. Pickersgill does not. The new residences will be independent living quarters for more active people who wish to retain some of their independence, Hart said.
Residents will be served one meal a day in the new dining facility, Hart said, and can prepare their other meals themselves, or have meals brought to their apartments.
Prices for the new apartments range from a studio at $995 a month, to a two-bedroom for $2,170 a month.
The renovations will also mean private baths for all residents, some of whom currently share a bathroom, Hart said.
Construction by J. Vinton Schafer & Sons Inc. is expected to be completed in early 1993. The new building was designed by Roanoke, Va., architects Sheretz Franklin Crawford Shaffner Inc.
Pickersgill is a non-profit organization that was established in Baltimore in 1802 as the Impartial Female Human Society, dedicated to the city's poor widows and deserted wives.
The group originally sought to find work and money for unfortunate women, but, as these women aged, a home was created. It has operated as a facility for the elderly since 1850, and in 1956 moved to 16 acres at 615 Chestnut St. in Towson.
Mary Young Pickersgill became president in 1850, and was instrumental in the construction of the first home in downtown Baltimore.
The Towson residence was last expanded in 1978.