National Park unit honoring Thurgood Marshall would be near Bolton Hill

The National Park Service has begun a study which could lead to the creation of a nearby urban national park to honor Thurgood Marshall, the West Baltimore native who led the successful court fight to end public school segregation and was the first African-American member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The site would, if approved, build upon an ongoing $8 million community effort to establish the Thurgood Marshall Center and restore the elementary school at 1315 Division Street, where Marshall attended segregated school classes from 1914 to 1921.  It is a short walk west from Bolton Hill in the Upton neighborhood.

A regional planner for the park service told city historical preservation officials on May 11 that their study on the feasibility of creating Baltimore’s second national park (Fort McHenry is the other) should lead to a public report and recommendation to Congress next year.  Public comments are invited before June. 1.  Congress, prompted by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), requested the study.

Thurgood Marshall sat on the Supreme Court as an associate justice from October 1967 until October 1991. He died on January 24, 1993, at age 85.