The Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, founded in 1981 was a rich history which started over 25 years ago when the organization began as a Model Cities Arts Program. The estate of James Hubert Blake, better known as "Eubie" Blake, the famous ragtime piano player and musical theater composer, approached the City of Baltimore about bequeathing his archives. As a result of his gift, the center was renamed the Eubie Blake National Museum and Cultural Center in 1981. The Center expanded and moved into this Howard Street location in the fall of 2000.
The Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center serves to showcase the works of renowned and aspiring artists with the focus being on increasing public awareness of the contributions African-Americans have made in the area of Fine Arts. Inside the Cultural Center the museum galleries exhibit memorabilia of the legendary ragtime and musical theater composer Eubie Blake and highlights the legacy of other jazz greats born or raised in Baltimore such as Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, and Chick Webb. The gallery also features exhibitions presenting local and nationally recognized artists. The center places great emphasis on an art education for children in music, dance, drama, and the visual arts.
Originally built to house the Baltimore
College of Dental Surgery which operated here from 1914-1923. The University of Baltimore's Law School owned the building for the longest period of time until the Library outgrew the space (1929-1961). Former Governor and 1954 University of Baltimore Law School graduate, William Donald Schaefer, attended classes at this site. More recently the Maryland General Hospital School of Nurses was housed here.