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The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture helps people see Baltimore in a new light by enabling the city’s creators and culture-keepers to produce new and more inclusive narratives of the City, its places, and the diverse people who have made Baltimore what it is today.
Founded by American artist Rembrandt Peale in 1814 and designed by Robert Cary Long, Sr., the Peale is the oldest museum building in the United States. It originally showcased artistic, natural, and scientific exhibits, and was Baltimore’s Municipal Museum, part of the Museums of City Life, for most of the 20th century. In its more than 200 years, the Peale has been a home to innovation and many firsts, as the place where Rembrandt Peale introduced gas light to the city, making Baltimore the first to be list by gas street lights in the country; as Baltimore’s first City Hall; and the first public high school for African Americans in the city.
After 20 years of being mainly vacant, the Peale Center is back at the center of Baltimore culture, hosting unique events, partnering with community groups, and providing cultural organizations with a fertile testing ground for innovative projects. The Peale is open for special events and exhibitions throughout the renovation of the building’s exterior.