Polish Home Club
Dom Polski on Broadway
The Polish Home Club, known then as the Polish Home Hall, opened to six hundred members of the Polish community on August 11, 1918, in an area of Fell's Point known as “Little Poland.” Baltimore’s Polish population grew rapidly in the late nineteenth century as Polish immigrants arrived at the port to work on the docks. By the turn of the century, the community was well-established with Polish churches, a Polish-language newspaper and financial institutions that offered loans to Polish people. By 1923, the Polish community had become large and organized enough to gain political representation through Baltimore’s first Polish city councilman, Edward Novak.
The Polish Home Hall, erected at a cost of $81,000 and affectionately called Dom Polski, opened to great fanfare. Marked by a banquet and speeches by Wladislaus Urbanski and Rev. Stanislaus Wachowiak, the dedication ceremonies revealed a beautiful community hall for future events. The night followed with music by the Polish National Band and dancing. Two years after the hall opened, it hosted the Polish Falcons’ Alliance, an international Polish organization, for an annual convention and accompanying athletic contests in Patterson Park.
When financial difficulties nearly led to the close of the Polish Home Hall, the Polish Home Club, organized in 1933 and led a community effort to raise funds for the building attracting around two thousand supporters. The Polish Home Club organized the first Polish Festival in 1973 at the Constellation Dock. The festival featured Polish food, music, dancing, and singing. In the years to follow, the festival enjoyed a long run at Rash Field, then Patterson Park, and currently, Timonium Fairgrounds.
The largest draw to the Polish Home Club is its restored wood dance floor. The club hosts a dance every Friday and Saturday evening where they play traditional Polish music and pop and serve Krupnik, the house drink, at the bar. The hall is also available for community events and gatherings.
The Polish population of Fell's Point has dwindled and a thriving Latino population has filled the void. As the neighborhood around the club changes, some fear that Polish traditions might be lost. However, the Polish Home Club hopes to stick around and be a cultural resource for future generations of people with Polish heritage.