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 and 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. Thanks to vision and dedication, the long-time vacant Brewhouse is now 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 necessitated an extensive, $24 million rehabilitation. Approximately 80% of the existing wood windows were retained and repaired, the west tower underwent substantial structural repair and interior reframing throughout the building was necessary. New electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems were also installed. The rehabilitated Brewhouse enables 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.
The project returns a building 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.