The building's on the south side of this block have changed dramatically to meet the needs of an ever-changing city. First built a private homes, since the late 19th century they have housed community institution devoted to the spiritual, cultural, economic, and physical health of diverse Baltimoreans.
In 1807 publisher William Pechin built an elegant, spacious residence here. The house became the Kelso Home for Orphans of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1874. The German Branch of the YMCA added a gymnasium during its tenure, 1889-1897. Soon after, the building was expanded to four stories and became Philanthropy Hall, a public meeting place.
The building hosted two institutions of the neighborhood's Jewish immigrant community in the early 20th century. In 1909 it became Baltimore's largest Hebrew school, or Talmud Torah. The Workmen's Circle, a club that promoted labor unions and Yiddish culture, took over in 1930. The club extended the building forward some eight feet and added an Art Deco facade. By this time, little of the original structure remained.
The Helping Up Mission continues the tradition of community service. Formed in 1885 to minister to Baltimore's homeless, the Mission moved here in 1955 and later expanded to neighboring buildings. The Christian-based organization works to break the
cycle of addiction and poverty through services encompassing food and shelter, education and job training, psychological and spiritual support.