Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
DESCRIPTION: A Top-Tier Museum and Cultural Center
ADMISSION: modest fee
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 8:30a-5p
ADDRESS: 830 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD
PARKING: garage nearby
RAPID TRANSIT: Metro Shot Tower-Market Place Station
Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture Review
In 2005, this compelling black culture museum, largest of its type on the East Coast, opened to great acclaim for its stylish architecture and close proximity to Baltimore Inner Harbor. It is made possible by the generous philanthropy of his widow Loida Lewis. Reginald Lewis (1942-1993), a Baltimore native, was the first African-American to build a billion-dollar company. He established The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, which granted about $10 million to non-profits while he was alive. His donated $1 million to Howard University and $3 million to Harvard Law School, the largest grant at the time in the law school’s history. In gratitude, Harvard renamed its International Law Center, the Reginald F. Lewis International Law Center, its first major facility to honor an African-American.
The award-winning architectural team of Frelon Group/RTKL joint-ventured to create a building the evokes a complex range of emotions at every angle, day or night. As a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, the museum is assured a certain degree of gravitas and international recognition. The permanent exhibitions speak to Maryland African-American heritage of perseverance and triumph via three galleries and major content areas: THINGS HOLD, LINES CONNECT: African American Families and Communities in Maryland, BUILDING MARYLAND, BUILDING AMERICA: Labor and the Black Experience, and THE STRENGTH OF THE MIND: Black Art and Intellect. Major traveling exhibitions are often hosted for 3 to 5 months, so chances are you’ll also see a major collection on tour. This multi-level museum has space for special events, includes an attractive Museum Café and well-stocked Museum Store for gift ideas. If your itinerary includes the Baltimore Inner Harbor, this is a must-visit.