LITHUANIAN HALL

In 1903 Kestutis association in Baltimore acquired private premises in W.Barre street. This center of Baltimore Lithuanians functioned for 12 years until it was transferred to Lithuanian Corporation in 1915.  It was the first property and headquarters  of the Corporation. Yet the building was old and too small for the needs of a Lithuanian organization, so the personas of Corporation decided to build a new Lithuanian Hall.

In December of 1916 and April of 1917 two buildings on the corner of Hollins and Parkin street were bought. They were 3 story brick houses interconnected with a mutual inside wall. After renovating the buildings, not only the works of the Corporations took place here, but also various  events and meetings of Lithuanian organisations and a part of the premises was used to accomodate single fellow-countrymen. The Corporation sold its property in W. Barre street in 1918 for $3,900.00.

In 1917 The Corporation was registered as Lithuanian Hall Association, Inc. This rearrangement enabled the company to overcome financial difficulties associated with the sale of shares. The first statute of the company (also called the constitution) was written. The company served as a cultural and social center for Lithuanians. Its members were the shareholders of the Company’s total assets. A stock (or a share) could be transferred to another natural or legal person in accordance with the law.

For 50 years in all of the documents of Company‘s affairs and public authorities only a Lithuanian name for the Company was used and the English version was put only in brackets. In 1968 the name was started to be used in English only.

Still, it was necessary to expand the existing buildings. The main hope for building a new Lithuanian Hall was the share selling and long-term loans from own organizations or individual countrymen. From 1917 to 1921 all Company shares were sold for a total of  $25,000.00. The authorities permitted for more stocks to be sold for $150,000.00. A fund of construction works has been opened – it included the income for the stocks ($25,879.50) and loans ($47,000.00) – a total of  $109,116.04.

Preparation of a building project and supervision was entrusted to  an architect S.Russel. The construction work started in spring of 1920 and was finished in the fall of 1921.

The opening ceremony of the new Lithuanian Hall took place in 17th February, 1921 and the events on the occasion continued all month. In the meantime, an opening banquet was organised, the drama play „Pilenieciai“ was performed, three concerts as well as a song and sports event took place. Opening events outstretching to the entire month, showed the celebrative mood with which Baltimore Lithuanians greeted the opening of a new Lithuanian Hall.

Lithuanian Hall throughout its years of work has always stumbled upon financial difficulties. The loans taken for construction work have only been fully repaid in 1975.

In order to alleviate the tax burden, in 1977 the Directors‘ Board adopted a resolution to re-register the Company to a non-profit organisation. The new statutes were endorsed that with certain additions function until this day. „Lithuanian Hall “ was renamed to „Lithuanian Hall Association Inc.“.