Project File: Former hospital is home for students

To meet its housing needs, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore, set a goal of providing residential facilities for 40 percent of its student population. Transforming the former Hospital for the Women of Maryland, which once was the third-largest medical facility in the Baltimore region, into the Meyerhoff House, helped the college realize this goal.

The 73-apartment facility accommodates 202 students, and houses the main dining facility, student-activities offices, fitness facilities, music rooms, studios and other amenities. The apartment's layout takes into consideration an artist's need for a significant amount of workspace. Shared areas are relatively small, while bedrooms are larger. All bedrooms are singles with flexible furnishings, such as lofts and Murphy beds.

Many architectural characteristics of the former hospital were maintained. The high ceilings, exposed brick and views from the upper floors remind residents of the facility's origin.

The college introduced apartment-style residences for students when the Commons opened in 1992 to provide housing for 350 students, mostly freshman. Since the Commons opened, MICA's enrollment has grown from 900 students to 1,350.

The $16 million project is being financed through a tax-exempt bond issue. The Maryland Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program and an endowment have been created to help meet operating costs. A major portion of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff's $4 million contribution to MICA will be applied to this endowment fund.

Architect for the project is R.D. Brasher (Baltimore).

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