Humanim - American Brewery
The American Brewery is an historic former brewery located at 1700 North Gay Street in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
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 building was listed that year in the National Registry of Historic Sites.
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.
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.
In recent news the Brewery has become the new home for Humanim, a Columbia Md non-profit, has recently secured $22.5 million for renovations of the American Brewery Complex into their new headquarters. The City of Baltimore approved the building permit in early 2004 and work is now complete. The American Brewery is situated in the center of one of East Baltimore’s most blighted neighborhoods The building looks better than ever and Humanim encourages people to come visit and see this beautiful building.