Cole Field House was the home of University of Maryland Terrapins Basketball for 47 years before the team moved to the XFINITY Center in the 2002-03 season. Cole Field House was the venue of 1966 Final Four and the home court for the 2001-02 University of Maryland Men’s Basketball team that went on to win the National Championship in the team’s final year at the arena.
After moving to the new facility, pieces of the hardwood court were later taken apart and sold. One of the pieces can be seen at MaGerk’s Pub in Federal Hill. And now, the true showcase pieces of the court, the two large baselines that read “Maryland,” are at Second Chance, Inc. in South Baltimore.
The Maryland baselines were donated to Second Chance by a private donor about five years ago. “Someone rang me one day and said they had some flooring from Cole Field House that had been in storage,” said Cari Clemens, director of donations and acquisitions at Second Chance. “This person was enamored with our mission.”
Second Chance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that sells many reclaimed housing materials and antiques in its 240,000 sq. ft. retail store at 1700 Ridgely St. in Carroll-Camden Industrial Area. Not only are the materials at Second Chance given a ‘second chance,’ many of its 150 employees have been given a ‘second chance’ as well. Second Chance’s workforce development program helps many individuals who have experienced addiction, criminal pasts, and unemployment. Graduates of the program work in the store as well as with the deconstruction crews that take apart homes and salvage materials for reuse. It is Second Chance’s hope that many of its employees eventually move on to higher paying jobs in the construction field with their new acquired skills.
The baselines, which have sat in storage at Second Chance for a few years, arrived in shrink wrapped pallets covered in dust. When Under Armour employees came by last year for a day of volunteering, Second Chance figured it was a good time to open the pallets and put the baselines back together. It was set up as a competition between two teams, each tackling one of the baselines. Clemens said it was like putting a puzzle back toghether.
As the Maryland baselines began to take shape, Clemens described it as a very emotional experience for people when they began to see that the pieces of wood were truly the Maryland baselines from Cole Field House.
One of the baselines is currently laid out for display in the Second Chance showroom, having made its debut at the Wrecker’s Ball last October, and the other one is in the storage area.
Second Chance had the baselines appraised at a value of $150,000, which is the current listing price.
Regarding a potential sale, Clemens said, “It would rock our world in such a great way.” She added, “It would be overwhelming to make $150,000. The revenue just goes back into our training and more job opportunities.” She noted Second Chance also needs to replace its 2-acre roof.
“We’re hoping some Maryland fan wants them, but if it stays here a while, we love looking at it,” said Clemens.
Cole Field House was recently renovated into an indoor training facility for Maryland Football and a 40,000 sq. ft. research and clinical space.
Second Chance receives about 8 trucks full of donations each week along with about 3 trucks filled with materials from home deconstruction done by its crews throughout the region.
For those who are not in the budget for a $150,000 Cole Field House baseline, Second Chance also sells items at a large range of price points including reclaimed building materials including floors, doors, windows, wood, cabinets, tubs, toilets, sinks, hardware, granite, fireplace mantles; plus antiques; and furniture in need of TLC. One of Second Chance’s primary goals it to keep materials out of landfills.
Second Chance recently deconstructed a home in Avalon, New Jersey, a home it nicknamed the “marble house,” and its large former columns can be seen currently in the Second Chance parking lot. Its set of front door, which Clemons described as “amazing,” can currently be seen next to the cash registers.
“I’ll travel near and far for donations,” said Clemens. “I want that claw foot tub, but I also want the sofa that sells.”
Clemons also mentioned an occasion about 8 years ago when Second Chance received original benches from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train station in Pigtown, now the home of the B&O Railroad museum. She said those sold very quickly to buyers looking to refinish them.
Currently hanging at Second Chance, but not for sale, is the former Sign for Rub BBQ, which was open at 1843 Light St. in Riverside/South Baltimore, before Hersh’s took over. Second Chance deconstructed many items from the former Rub BBQ and has sold many items to the ownership team at Hersh’s.
Second Chance was founded in 2001 and moved to its current building in 2012. Second Chance recently completed improvements to its property which inlaced an 180 ft. mural and a rain filtration system in its parking lot.
Photos courtesy of Maryland Athletics
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