The five-story American Brewery Brewhouse building was built in 1887 in East Baltimore as part of a five-acre brewery complex. It operated as a brewhouse or beverage plant until its closing in 1973. The building and an adjacent bottling plant were donated to the City of Baltimore in 1977. After several failed redevelopment attempts by various entities, Streuver Brothers, Gotham Development and Humanim were awarded the rights to develop both properties in 2005. The long-time vacant Brewhouse has been converted into office and program space for Humanim, a 35-year old nonprofit social and human services provider.The reuse of the American Brewery Building is a huge boon for its Broadway East neighborhood—one characterized by poverty and a high degree of abandonment and blight. Roughly half the properties in the area are vacant or have been demolished. The building was in poor condition and has undergone an extensive, $30 million rehabilitation. Approximately 80% of the existing wood windows have been retained and repaired, the west tower has undergone substantial structural repair and interior reframing throughout the building s well. New electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems have also been installed. With its completion, the Brewhouse will enable Humanim to consolidate its operations and expand its existing employment and clinical service programs. These include services for individuals with developmental, emotional, neurological and physical disabilities.
Now that the project is completed, it will return a building that has been vacant for more than 30 years into a high quality, high character home for an established social services agency that provides workforce development services and job creation opportunities to a neighborhood desperate for economic revitalization. The surrounding census tract has a 51% poverty rate and an unemployment rate more than four times the national average. A rehabilitated American Brewery Building is a beacon of hope for continued economic investment and revitalization in one of the most neglected and desperate areas of Baltimore.
- Excerpts from The National Trust Community Investment Fund