The Ulman House – A Visual Timeline

The new year brought a ton of progress to the house! It is amazing how quickly things moved along once the foundation was laid. The focus in January was getting the structure and the beams in place. With the walls up, we were able to put the windows (generously donated by Vytex Windows) in the back of the house. The facade took a little longer to complete as work needed to be done first to remove the Formstone and then to restore some of the brick and make the windows and door spaces uniform. This work was done throughout March and April and as you can tell from the pictures, the facade is beautifully restored to its 1905 glory!

<<Click here to see the deconstruction process>>

May was an amazing month of progress on the house. With the structure nearly complete we got to spend a lot of time inside going over all of the details that will make the house both comfortable and functional. We went through the placement of the outlets, whether doors would open into rooms or swing out, where to place the pulls on the kitchen cabinets, how to incorporate the original salvaged wood, how big to make the back decks, and so much more. There is an incredible amount of detail involved in bringing a house to life and we are so fortunate to have the amazing talent of J Cole Builders to help us through the process.

As construction begins to wrap up we will we need the help of our wonderful community to make this house a home! With the beautiful vision of our founder and interior designer Diana Ulman, we have created our Housewarming Registry to begin furnishing the space. We ask that you visit the registry and purchase an item for the house that will make our guests’ stays a little more comfortable. We’ve put everything from kitchen utensils to furniture on our registry. Feel free to purchase something individually or team up with friends and family for one of the bigger items. Donations are tax-deductible through an in-kind gift receipt. Please direct any questions to

We look forward to working with our community to make the Ulman House a home!



After the steel beam was placed, the walls and trusses were erected. All of the trusses for the ceilings were carried through the alley by hand. Our construction crew are masters of navigating the challenges of building in Baltimore!



We have windows! The natural light that will come in through the many windows- including two amazing skylights at the top of the main stairs- will create a bright welcoming atmosphere for patients and caregivers.



After the Formstone was removed, the brick mason spent countless hours refurbishing the brick and making sure all of the window and door openings were uniform. The stars you see aren’t just for looks, they actually provide important structural support from steel rods that go deep into the house.


The Music Room is coming to life! Insulation, sounds proofing, and drywall were completed this month.



See that giant generator? Generously donated by Windsor Electric, the generator can power the whole house in case of emergency. Our beautiful cabinets were also installed in May a gift (along with all of our appliances) from the Maryland Homebuilders Cares Foundation.



The Ulman House – It’s all in the Details

It’s been an exciting time here at the Ulman Cancer Fund since construction began on the Ulman House! In September, we began the process of deconstruction on the existing row homes in our six-unit stretch of E Madison Street in East Baltimore. For the deconstruction, we worked with Baltimore based company, Details whose workforce is made up of local people facing barriers to employment. One man we worked with grew up just blocks from the Ulman House! Besides the social impact of Details work, their environmental impact is important too. They were able to recover brick and wood from the deconstruction process that will go back into our rebuild of the property and into future construction projects around Baltimore.

This deconstruction of the property and recycling of materials helps us towards our goal of becoming LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

LEED is a green building rating system which provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, sustainable buildings. We believe this is important not only for the health of our patients and caregivers but for the health of the environment as well.

One of the most exciting parts of this deconstruction process was that we were able to save the more than one-hundred-year-old facade. Keeping the original brick front was important to us to be able to continue the timeline of the story of Baltimore. The red brick row home is an important architectural staple in Baltimore and we’re happy to showcase it on E Madison Street. The bracing of the facade has allowed the dig out of the lower level to begin. Stay tuned for more updates!

     The back of the property before deconstruction

Details worker who grew up blocks from the House

Back of property during reconstruction
 The facade braced for construction to begin

Lower level dig out

Betsy’s Story – BE Human

For twenty years, volunteers have been critical to UCF’s ability to carry out our mission. Our committed volunteers do yardwork or prepare meals for patients we serve, run alongside cancer survivors completing their first 5K race, plan fundraising events – really, they do whatever it takes to ensure that we continue to move closer and closer to a world where no young adult faces cancer alone!

Betsy Serp has become a one-of-a-kind volunteer whose friends invited her to serve alongside them at the UCF Races several years ago. After seeing cancer survivors cross the finish line and achieve feats they didn’t think possible, Betsy was hooked! She now sacrifices her retirement leisure time and shares her top-notch project management skills to help us as a volunteer Program Coordinator for the UCF House.

Betsy is no stranger to the housing industry; she worked in the mortgage business for many years, and collaborates with her husband, Ed, on his weekend home improvement business.  So when Betsy told us that she had decided to take early retirement and would have some free time, we quickly asked her to contribute some of that time toward the UCF House!

In her volunteer role, Betsy spends the equivalent of 1-2 days per week making sure planning and construction progress smoothly. She manages communication between our general contractor, our interior designer (UCF Founder Diana Ulman), individuals and companies who have donated items for the house, and UCF full-time staff. Betsy’s work will ensure that we meet requirements set by the Maryland Historic Trust and that the project qualifies for LEED certification.

Betsy gives so generously of her time because she is inspired by the vision of young adults having a place to live alongside new friends who are going through something similar. She is confident that the UCF House will not only be a physical structure, but that it will be the framework around a strong support system for everybody who walks through its doors – patients, family, friends, and community members.

Betsy – from all of us at UCF, thank you for all you do!