In Baltimore, the fire-damaged, 30,000-square-foot historic American Brewery building sat empty for 30 years until a $24+ million renovation turned it into offices for Humanim, a non-profit social service agency.
At the core of the building rises a multistory, 10,000-bushel grain silo constructed of stacked 2-by-6-foot yellow pine boards. This unique structure was maintained, given flooring, and opened up to make impromptu seating areas. Snaking through the building are what appear to be vestigial air ducts; periodic Plexiglas panels placed on them allow glimpses of an automated system of belts and scoops once used to convey grain to the upper floors. And on the first floor, a massive steel tank likely used to heat a mix of malted barley and water called “wort” has been carved up to serve as a curvilinear work area [pictured above]. Where large beer tanks were removed in the renovation, their diameters and positions are memorialized with gray circles of carpeting.
The building, built in 1887, is on the National Register of Historic Places; following its reopening in 2009, additional redevelopment has taken place in the surrounding neighborhood.
Restoration architects: Cho Benn Holback + Associates. Photos, by Paul Burk, and building information via Urbanite Baltimore.
See also: Earlier Unconsumption posts on adaptive reuse here.