DUNDALK — Officials and residents were out in force on Friday to celebrate the historic Ernest Lyon Homes after recently completing phase one of their renovation and development.
The ceremony, which dedicated their community center and office, honored acclaimed architect Hilyard Robinson and legendary former Turner Station resident Henrietta Lacks.
Held at Lyon Homes on New Pittsburg Avenue, the event featured remarks by Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr., Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Kenneth Holt, Turner Station Historical Committee member Mary Coleman, Baltimore County Office of Housing’s Executive Director Marsha Parham and Telesis Corporation’s Vice President Catherine Stokes.
“It is our great honor to celebrate the completion of Lyon Homes phase one,” CT Development Partner Christopher Wood said. “It will be a constant reminder of greatness.”
Following his service in the U.S. Army during World War I, Robinson became one of the most successful and productive African American architects during the first half of the 20th century. He is most well-known for his design of Langston Terrace in Washington, D.C., Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama, and Ernest Lyon Homes in Turner Station.
“He provided functional and attractive housing options for the poor,” said Olszewski. “His work gave people living and housing hope. His dedicated work paved the way for the passage of the first National Housing Act of 1937.”
Henrietta Lacks and her husband raised their five children in the Lyon Homes residential community. After passing away in 1951 from cervical cancer, Johns Hopkins Hospital took her cells without her family’s knowledge for use in medical research.
From that research, the cell line, called HeLa, has produced 50 million metric tons of cells since the 1950s.
“This is an opportunity for the community to celebrate the vibrant spirit and historical import of Turner Station by honoring its achievements, both past and present,” Wood said.