The original portion of this building was constructed in Greek revival style, in 1843, for a sea captain and his family. The captain and his wife placed it into trust for their daughter, who willed it to the Baltimore Humane Impartial Society to be used as an old folks’ home, but the Society sold the property to an individual instead. It remained a private residence until it was donated to The Little Flower Corporation, in 1920. The neighborhood was predominantly Polish during this time and the house was remodeled and accommodations were furnished for the care of Polish children. The first floor had lounging rooms and a dining room, the second floor was a day nursery and library, and the top floor was converted into dormitories for girls.
The American Indian Study Center acquired the property from The Little Flower in 1972. In its original location, at 211 S. Broadway, the Center offered a library on Indian cultures and social counseling services. It hosted monthly meetings open to anyone interested in “Indian culture.” “Culture class” included workshops on traditional arts, crafts, histories, ways of knowing, and being. With the move to 113 S. Broadway, the Center also opened a restaurant and offered housing for a time. The American Indian Study Center, which changed its name to the Baltimore American Indian Center in 1980, has offered an array of social and cultural programs in the decades since.
In 1999, Maryland State Bond Bill was passed to assist the Center in a capital project to construct the “multipurpose room,” a gymnasium-like addition to the original structure, completed in 2008. In 2004, longtime friend to the Center, Stanley Markowitz, was awarded an Open Society Institute Baltimore fellowship to work with community members to begin envisioning what would become the Baltimore American Indian Center Heritage Museum. Additional federal funding was acquired to rehabilitate the first floor of the original part of the building, to house the new museum. Frieda Minner (Lumbee) was instrumental in the development of the museum and a gift shop, facilitating much of what was truly a community effort. Men of the Center’s Native American Senior Citizens program did the finishing work on the first floor. The Museum officially opened in 2011. In 2018, the Baltimore American Indian Center celebrated 50 years of existence and it is still open today.