The renovation and adaptive use of the historic Lion Brothers Building, one of the oldest buildings in Baltimore’s Hollins Market neighborhood, has been recognized with a 2019 WaveMaker Award from the Baltimore chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The annual WaveMakers Awards recognize outstanding achievements in local real estate development projects.
Designed by Quinn Evans, the rehabilitation of the Lion Brothers Building transformed the long-abandoned, three-story structure into Class A office, studio, and retail space. The circa-1885 building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally constructed as a livery stable and was then occupied for several decades by the Lion Brothers embroidery company. Developer Cross Street Partners saw promise in the boarded-up building as a modern workspace that could play an instrumental role in revitalizing the community.
Based on careful research into the building’s original construction and past use, Quinn Evans created a flexible design for a contemporary workplace setting while preserving many of the building’s original features. Misaligned floors and multiple interventions from a variety of architectural eras challenged the development and design team to create a cohesive, efficient plan allowing for multiple tenants and uses.The interior features a new central core with an open stair, exposed brick walls and duct work, refinished concrete and wood floors, and the original sliding, steel-clad fire doors. Vibrant colors and environmental graphics enliven the tenant spaces, inspired by the terra cotta medallions along the exterior that depict embroidered patches once made in the factory.
The building offers a variety of workplace environments, including traditional office, open concept,and cutting-edge co-working spaces, all benefiting from abundant natural light. The historic factory windows were restored and the stable building windows were replicated. The project included all new building systems, a new elevator, and extensive exterior upgrades. In addition to Quinn Evans, consultant team members included Kovacs, Whitney & Associates, Inc., for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering; and Skarda and Associates, Inc., for structural engineering.
The Lion Brothers building is fully leased and now serves as a home to a dynamic mix of tenants, including programs at the University of Maryland, Enterprise Homes, and several other businesses and organizations.