Woodbourne Center's new look

Urban Landscape

Addition: The nonprofit organization has completed three buildings to house 36 emotionally disturbed youths. Architects designed them to blend with existing structures to create a campus.

May 13, 1999|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

THE WOODBOURNE Center, one of the nation's oldest organizations for troubled adolescents, has completed construction of residential treatment facilities for 36 youths on its main campus at 1301 Woodbourne Ave., the former summer home of philanthropist Enoch Pratt.

The $3 million addition consists of three one-story buildings, each designed to house up to 12 emotionally disturbed youths receiving care at Woodbourne. The buildings frame a courtyard south of the oldest Woodbourne building, an 1850s-era stone mansion that has been transformed to offices, meeting rooms, a kitchen and dining areas for the nonprofit organization.

Ziger/Snead Incorporated Architects designed the housing to fit into the wooded setting and help turn the existing buildings into more of a campus for the therapeutic and educational programs Woodbourne provides. Mullan Contracting Co. was the general contractor.

Architectural features include metal roofs, an abundance of natural light, extensive views of Chinquapin Run Park and 36 single-room living quarters and restrooms -- in compliance with standards set by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.

"The charm of the new development is that it maintains the natural beauty of the historic campus," said John Hodge-Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Woodbourne Center. "The buildings blend in perfectly with the historic main building, without compromising the space or the landscape."

The architects placed the three residential structures among the existing gymnasium and administration building to create a "central quad." Covered walkways and smaller gathering spaces help link the buildings.

The dormitories were designed to house emotionally disturbed boys, ages 12 to 18, who will stay at Woodbourne for a few months. The plan consists of common living spaces, dining spaces, "time-out rooms," a staff records office and individual bedrooms.

Because Woodbourne provides health care, and is not a correctional facility, the emphasis was on providing "a community of buildings" that could be a haven for the residents, said project architect Hugh McCormick.

"They're protected there, not restrained there," he said. "We tried to make [the addition] as noninstitutional as possible."

Founded in 1798, Woodbourne operates from 11 locations in Baltimore through an array of educational, community-based and residential programs. Funding for its newest facility came from a combination of public and private sources, including $400,000 from Baltimore and $1.1 million from the state.

The first residents moved in yesterday, and the buildings will be dedicated at 8 a.m. Tuesday.During the dedication, Woodbourne will unveil the "Positive Pathway Walk," a sidewalk made of mosaic tiles that were created by Woodbourne students and an outdoor mural.

Historic Towson to note Preservation Week

Historic Towson Inc. will celebrate Preservation Week by unveiling a historic marker at 4: 15 p.m. tomorrow on the west railroad abutment at York Road and Towsontown Boulevard.

County Councilman Wayne M. Skinner, a founding member of Historic Towson Inc., will attend.

The plaque will have an embedded photographic image that depicts a steam locomotive crossing the overpass. The photograph was taken in 1948 by John McGrain, a Historic Towson member and Baltimore County historian. A reception will follow at Towson Business Association, 23 W. Chesapeake Ave.

Two philanthropists pledge $20 million to Hopkins project

Two Baltimore philanthropists, the Bunting family and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, have pledged $10 million each to help pay for the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center's 10-story cancer research building under construction near the northwest corner of Broadway and Orleans Street.

The $59 million facility, to be called the Bunting Blaustein Building, will open in January.

It is a companion to the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Cancer Center's clinical facility in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, due to open in October at the northeast corner of Broadway and Orleans.

Trustees of the Blaustein Foundation include the children of Jacob and Hilda Blaustein and members of the families of Barbara Hirschhorn, Elizabeth Roswell and the late Morton Blaustein.

The Bunting family of Baltimore pledged its gift to honor George Avery Bunting, the inventor of Noxzema skin cream and founder of Noxell Corp.; G. Lloyd Bunting Sr.; and the Baltimore community.

Pub Date: 5/13/99

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