Adaptive Reuse Sparks Change in Baltimore

American Brewery

American Brewery

Baltimore, Maryland

Our transformation of a Victorian-era brewery into a social services organization headquarters catalyzed the renewal of the surrounding neighborhood.

Situated on North Gay Street, the 1887 building once housed one of Maryland’s largest breweries. It was vacated in the 1970s had been derelict for many years when Humanim purchased it.

We renewed the 30,000-sf structure as a light-filled, inspiring, and highly functional work environment. The revitalized building stands as a testament to Humanim’s commitment to the community and has inspired additional investment in Broadway East.

Adaptive Reuse Sparks Change in Baltimore
The design for the restoration and level of craftsmanship are impeccable... I cannot think of a more successful combination of historic preservation and community revitalization.
An exterior photo of a 7-story Victorian building.

Restoring the Envelope

Exterior renovations encompassed the full restoration of the brick façade, slate roof, and decorative trim. Our team was able to replicate the building’s original paint colors by obtaining historic lithograph images and confirming their accuracy by removing layers of surface paint.

An interior photo of a seating area inside a large industrial artifact.

Innovative Reuse

Our design retains many artifacts from the structure’s industrial past. The former grain tower now serves as the central lobby and organizing element for each floor, while brewing tanks have become collaboration areas.

A photo of a group of people sitting at a table.

A Community Anchor

Once an emblem of neighborhood disinvestment, the American Brewery building is now a hub for Humanim’s vital community services, including career training, behavioral health, and family support. It provides space for events, classes, and training, in addition to staff workspaces.

A detail photo of a paned half-moon window.

New Windows

All of the building’s original windows were missing. We replicated the windows based on documentation by the Historic American Engineering Record that had been completed just before the building was abandoned.

A historic advertisement for J.F. Wiessner & Sons Brewing Company showing the American Brewery building.

Brewing Heritage

The American Brewery building was constructed for J.F. Wiessner & Sons Brewing Company. The company’s founder, John Frederick Wiessner, was a Bavarian immigrant from a family of brewers. In the 1930s his sons sold the building to the American Brewery, which brewed there until 1973.

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