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Dear Genesee Brewery: Inspiration From Baltimore

November 9th, 2011

The recently renovated and beautifully restored American Brewery building in Baltimore, Maryland. [Flickr Photo: Prêt à Voyager]
RochesterSubway.com will be 3 years old this January and recently it welcomed it’s 100,000th visitor. While the bulk of this web traffic is local, the website gets a fair amount of visits from every corner of the country. And those visitors are very important. Case in point, Norm from Baltimore, Maryland. Norm read our story about Genesee Brewery wanting to demolish the old Standard Brewing Company Building and he sent us some inspiration from his home town…

The American Brewing Building…

Built in 1887 by John Frederick Wiessner, a German immigrant, the American Brewery in East Baltimore was one of the largest breweries in the state of Maryland. At its peak, the brewery employed 61 workers; 16 in brewery work, 17 drivers, 14 bottling house, 8 garage men, and 6 office workers. The central tower of the building housed a 10,000 bushel grain elevator. Prohibition forced the shut down of the facility in 1920. The Weissner family sold the brewery to the American Malt Company in 1931, who modernized the interior equipment and operated the brewery until 1973.

The neighborhood around the brewery building has long been in decline and has been largely forgotten by politicians and the media during the later half of the 20th century. [Flickr Photo: ubarchives]
The neighborhood around the brewery building has long been in decline and has been largely forgotten by politicians and the media during the later half of the 20th century. Once a vibrant area, about half of the homes and other buildings in the area have been demolished or are vacant. Basic services such as grocery stores and restaurants have disappeared as well. In 2006, the City of Baltimore moved to acquire 200 abandoned properties in the area for future demolition or rehabilitation.

A non-profit group called Humanin Inc. has redeveloped the Brewhouse building and bottling plant into a social and human services center and a new Baltimore headquarters. [Flickr Photo: ubarchives]
Since then, a non-profit group called Humanin Inc.external link has redevelopedexternal link the Brewhouse building and bottling plant into a social and human services center and a new Baltimore headquarters for Humanin Inc.

Humanim secured $22.5 million with loans and “sustainable neighborhoods” grants for renovations of the complex. The work is now complete, the building looks better than ever, and Humanim encourages the public to come visit and see this beautiful historic building.

The rehabilitation of the American Brewery may serve as an impetus for further investment in the East Baltimore neighborhood.
The rehabilitation of the American Brewery may serve as an impetus for further investment in the East Baltimore neighborhood. Due to its central location in a struggling neighbhorhood, interior space, and architectural quality, the brewery is seen by urban planners as an anchor for future community and economic development initiatives in the area. It is hoped that new employment and social services will attract additional investors, improving the quality of life for current and future residents.

Take notes Rochester. And thank you, Norm from Baltimore!


How You Can Help:

Plan to attend and speak at the Zoning Board’s meeting on Thursday, December 15, 2011. The start time for the Public Hearing is 9:30 AM in City Council Chambers, Room 302A, City Hall, 30 Church Street. Cases 1-5 will be heard beginning at 9:30 AM. The Genesee Brewery Application is Case #5 and will begin at 11:30 AM.

Share this event on Facebook.

Please sign the petitionexternal link, which was started by fellow blogger Christopher Schiffnerexternal link, so we can let them know we’d like our history preserved…

Sign the Petition to Save 13 Cataract Street

See also:
Genesee Brewery to Demolish This Building
Dear Genesee Brewery: Inspiration From Baltimore
Brewery Unveils Official Plan
Help Save Brewing Landmark
Imagine, Rochester’s Historic Brewery Square
Landmark Society Urges Brewery to Rethink Demolition
Prohibition in Rochester

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 at 10:35 pm and is filed under Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Dear Genesee Brewery: Inspiration From Baltimore”

  1. James says:

    That is fantastic and exactly the type of forward thinking that Rochester needs from its leaders. Instead of just saying no investment is worth it there because of the neighborhood, perhaps they should think outside of the box.

  2. Stoneham says:

    Agreed James

  3. The time to finally take action and speak against the destruction of Rochester’s heritage is upon us. Plan to attend and sign up to speak at the Zoning Board’s meeting on Thursday. We need to fill that council chambers on Thursday; and that means we need all of YOU. If you and I don’t stand up to fight for the city our grandparents and great grandparents broke themselves to build, no one else will.

    DETAILS:
    Thursday, December 15
    City Council Chambers, Room 302A
    City Hall, 30 Church Street

    ADDITIONAL INFO:
    The start time for the Public Hearing is 9:30 AM but the Genesee Brewery Application will begin at 11:30 AM so you don’t have to be there at 9:30. Just be sure to arrive well before 11:30 to sign up to speak. I don’t know how long the meeting will go. Depends on how many people speak out.

    Everyone will have 3 MINUTES at most to speak their mind. So get your thoughts together in advance.

    Please RSVP and share this event with your networks on Facebook.

  4. Zesty says:

    Amazing! Toronto would do well to learn from this.


Post a Comment...



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