A capital campaign to save Clifton Mansion, making it a more efficient headquarters for Civic Works and a more usable space for communities
Civic Works, building futures for Baltimore’s youth through community service and workforce development programs since 1993, is proud to call home the historic Clifton Mansion. For over 200 years, Clifton Mansion has anchored the Clifton Park community, stabilizing the historic estate and hosting Civic Works’ programs to continue the legacy of service of its former owners.
Civic Works has embarked on a capital campaign to make much-needed repairs and renovations to Clifton Mansion. The capital campaign will preserve the treasure that is this historic building, and bring the Mansion up to modern day standards for use as both functional offi ces and a community gathering place. With a plan to raise $6.9 million, Civic Works will install HVAC systems, repair the deteriorating Italianate porch, restore the salon and make many interior and exterior improvements. The renovated Clifton Mansion will serve as the focal point for the neighboring communities and enable Civic Works to continue its vital work in community service and workforce development.
Built around 1800, Clifton was the home of Baltimore merchant Henry Thompson, who played a pivotal role in defending the new nation at the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Raising his own militia, Thompson defended the liberties the nation had achieved just over 30 years earlier.
Johns Hopkins, Baltimore merchant and philanthropist, purchased Clifton in 1837 as his summer estate. Hopkins expanded the house into an Italianate villa complete with ornamental gardens and a lake on the 500 acre property. With the then largest single philanthropic gift in American history, Hopkins secured his legacy by establishing institutions that were to serve the ill, the elderly, the poor and the mentally ill, regardless of race, gender, and religious beliefs. The world has been forever enriched by his great dedication and service to the Baltimore community. Today, the view from Clifton Mansion stretches between the world famous university and hospital that Hopkins endowed in his will.
After Hopkins’s death in 1873, Clifton Mansion and its grounds were used by Johns Hopkins University as athletic fields, and then sold to the City of Baltimore for use as a public park, which continues to this day. Clifton Park and all of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.