On July 11, 2015 the Eastern Female High School on Aisquith Street caught fire—just the latest challenge for this 1869 school-house turned apartment building that has stood empty since it closed in 2001. Designed by architect R. Snowden Andrews, the Italianate-style, red-brick and white-trim structure is the city’s oldest surviving purpose-built public school building. It stands as a memorial to the post-Civil War expansion of secondary education opportunities in Baltimore.
The Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation list the building as a Baltimore City Landmark in 1976 and a 2002 Baltimore Sun editorial declared one of Baltimore’s “architectural gems”. The building was renovated and converted into apartments in the 1970s and Baltimore City transferred the building to Sojourner-Douglass College in 2004. Unfortunately, Sojourner-Douglass College was unable to develop the building and after the 2015 fire Eastern Female High School continues to stand boarded up and vacant.