About the Friends

For more than seventy years a row house in Baltimore, on Hollins Street, was the residence of Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956), one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. Once part of Baltimore’s City Life museums, the house, with many original furnishings, was a  superlative example of how successful families lived during its era. For Mr Mencken, 1524 Hollins Street was “as much a part of me as my own two hands,” and his personality can be seen in everything from the parquet floors to the garden tiles. The City Life museums closed in 1997. The now stands empty, a shuttered burden for the City of Baltimore, which plans to dispose of the property.


The purpose of the Friends of the H. L. Mencken House shall be educating the public about the life and legacy of H. L. Mencken, and acquiring Mencken’s lifelong residence at 1524 Hollins Street for the purpose of restoring, preserving and operating a nonprofit museum.


The Friends of the H. L. Mencken House envisions implementing their mission through two avenues:

1.) H. L. Mencken House Museum

Through acquisition of Mencken’s home at 1524 Hollins Street, the Friends of the H. L. Mencken House plans to restore the house to its condition at the time Mencken lived there. Fortunately, this is possible due to extensive photo documentation of the house during the later years of Mencken’s life.

2.) Programming

Establish a series of programs that will emphasize reading, writing and critical thinking. Special programs that will celebrate holidays and highlight historical dates that were important to Mencken. Educational programming that will provide examples of what life was like for Mencken living in a Baltimore rowhouse during the early to mid-1900s.


Betsey Waters, President
Brigitte Fessenden, Secretary
Sarah Littlepage, Treasurer
Oleg Panczenko, Webmaster-Archivist/Publications
Jeff Jerome, Social Networking-Outreach Coordinator


Friends of the H. L. Mencken House
Box 22501
Baltimore, MD 21203-4501
President: president@menckenhouse.org
Secretary: secretary@menckenhouse.org
Webmaster: webmaster@menckenhouse.org