November 14, 2007
The Great Escape
Pediatric patients will have their own retreat in the new children’s hospital, two stories of it, in fact. The family of Julia Scott Clayton Baker, a Baltimorean by marriage and devotion, is bringing some of the outside in to them. In what Hopkins’ architects dub “The Great Escape” – an enclosed playroom on the building’s top two levels – patients will be able to leave some worries behind and delight in a sunlit expanse of “nature” with a simulated beach and garden, and a real playground.
A lawyer by schooling and a civic leader, Mrs. Baker died in 2000, three years before her husband of 63 years, former Baltimore internist and part-time Hopkins physician Benjamin Baker. To her friends and four children, she bequeathed a legacy of community service and quiet philanthropy. Today, the Clayton family and the Clayton Trust in Houston, Texas, continue the tradition in funding the new Johns Hopkins children’s hospital’s only open air–like space, offering new horizons for those in need.
“My mother was very interested in the well-being of children and the community of Baltimore, and she loved being out-of-doors, whether working in her garden or on the ‘greening’ of the Broadway median outside the old [Johns Hopkins] hospital entrance,” says her son Will Baker, CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a Johns Hopkins University trustee. “In considering how we could best support Johns Hopkins’ mission as a family, we were drawn to the Children’s Center, and its ‘Great Escape’ seemed the perfect project to dedicate in our mother’s honor.”