CROFTON, Md., May 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign hopes to raise enough money to purchase and restore Whites Hall, the birthplace of Johns Hopkins. The historic 18th century home is located in Crofton Maryland, on 13 acres, a short distance from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
The campaign, titled, "Save Whites Hall: Johns Hopkins' Birthplace", is being coordinated by the new nonprofit, The Johns Hopkins House, Inc. Robert Brown, the organization's executive director, states that the once pristine property has fallen into neglect and even been threatened with demolition. However, the current owner, The Polm Companies, a Maryland development firm, is now committed to preserving this piece of history.
The Kickstarter campaign launches at 8:00 am on Tuesday, May 2, and lasts for 30 days. The goal is to raise at least $298,000, but hopefully considerably more. Kickstarter works on an all-or-nothing basis. Only if the goal is reached are the donations dispersed.
Constructed in circa 1785, Whites Hall was a 500-acre tobacco plantation when Johns Hopkins was born there in 1795. Slave labor was employed on the farm; however, in 1807 the family's slaves were emancipated.
The freeing of the Whites Hall slaves is thought to have contributed to Johns' sense of public duty and social justice later in life. Little known is that he bequeathed funds not only to found a university and hospital, but also an orphanage for "colored children" in Baltimore.
The Johns Hopkins House, Inc. intends is to create a museum at Whites Hall, which will exhibit the history of the property, and the life and legacy of Johns Hopkins. A nonprofit restaurant and inn (The Johns Hopkins Inn) are also planned, to help self-sustain the undertaking. Brown hopes this type of "preservationist fundraising and self-sustaining model can serve as an example to others wishing to preserve important historic American landmarks".
Restoration will be overseen by Dennis Pogue, former longtime curator and Vice President of Preservation at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens. Dr. Pogue will also be leading private small group tours of the historic property (just one of the many "Rewards" offered thru the Kickstarter campaign!)
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SOURCE The Johns Hopkins House, Inc.