The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (the Lewis) opened in June 2005, in the heart of downtown Baltimore. The 82,000 square foot building houses 10,000 artifacts showcasing 400 years of Maryland African American history and culture. The museum is the premier experience and best resource for information and inspiration about African American Marylanders. As the gateway to history through living culture, the museum showcases groundbreaking collections, exhibitions, performances, public and educational programs for all ages, and bridges the gap between the past and the present. The Lewis is the second largest African American museum on the east coast, and is committed to protecting and interpreting Maryland’s African American history and culture. The museum is named after Reginald F. Lewis, a native of Baltimore and the first African American to close a billion-dollar international leverage buyout deal in 31 countries. He was one of the first African Americans to open a law firm on Wall Street.