The classically styled Old Town National Bank building at 221 N. Gay Street was constructed in 1924 as a bank headquarters. Despite many years of vacancy, the primary first stories retained an array of historic details, including a two story lobby, cornice and parapet wall, grand marble stairway, and even vault spaces. The work included refurbishing and repairing these and a host of other features, and the building now shines as a Holiday Inn Express Hotel. For more information on the project see this great account from the Baltimore Sun. The Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design Awards went to owner Old Town Properties LLC and architects Kann Partners.
Built in 1899 and designed as a police station for Baltimore’s Northern District Police Station, now known as The Castle, at 3355 Keswick Road originally housed police functions such as a call room, gymnasium, holding cells and offices, as well as a stable area and two carriage houses for the mounted police unit in the pre-automobile era. Rehabilitation involved more than extensive work inside and out, including un-doing some unfortunate changes that were made in the 1970s. The original entry way was restored, along with the carriage houses and even the holding cells. The building now houses an array of offices and is a welcome addition to the section of Hampden. The Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design award went to David Gleason Architects. Enjoy this video of the interior from Ben Frederick Realty Inc. or continue on for more photos.
Constructed in 1874, the former H. F. Miller and Son’s Tin Box and Can Manufacturing Company at 2601 N. Howard Street served as a manufacturing site for the American Can Company. Vacant for the past 20 years, this landmark building has experienced a renaissance as Miller’s Court–a mixed-use redevelopment offering affordable apartments for teachers and office space for nonprofit organizations that work with the city’s school system. To boot, the rehabilitation work combined the highest preservation standards with the gold standards for green and sustainable design. The end product is already breathing life into Howard Street and the surrounding community. The Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design Award went to owner Seawall Development, architect Marks Thomas, and contractor Hamel Builders.
This week’s entry in our series of 2010 Baltimore Heritage Preservation Awards is the John Manley House. Formerly St. Dominic’s Parish School, the John Manley House at 5304 Harford Road involved taking two school building dating to the early twentieth century and converting them into low-income housing for seniors. Preserving features like the clay tile roof, terrazzo floors, and trim-work were priorities. Even the chalkboards were preserved and reused as message boards for the residents. The result is a fantastic new residence for thirty lucky seniors and a well preserved set of historic buildings. The Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design Award was awarded to architect Hord Coplan Macht and contractor Southway Builders.
This week’s Baltimore Building of the Week from Dr. John Breihan serves double duty as the first in a new series highlighting the 2010 Baltimore Heritage Preservation Award Winners! The American Brewery Building at 1701 North Gay Street might be the most “Baltimore” of all buildings in the city. It is in the style of High Victorian architecture, as so much of our city was built and it is just plain quirky. Since 1973, the 1887 J.F. Weisner and Sons brewery building (later known as the American Brewery) stood as a hulking shell lording over a distressed neighborhood. Its restoration is a noteworthy symbol of optimism for the historic building the surrounding community. The conversion of the brewery into a health care and community center for Humanim more than fits the organization’s motto: “To identify those in greatest need and provide uncompromising human services.” We are thankful that they chose this grand building in Baltimore to carry out that mission. A 2010 Baltimore Heritage Preservation Award in the Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design category goes to owner Humanim, Inc., architects Cho Benn Holback + Associates, and contractor Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse.
On a prominent ridge-top site in East Baltimore, this flamboyant Second Empire extravaganza was actually a working industrial complex between 1887 and 1973 (with a break for Prohibition). Perhaps John Frederick Weissner, who presided over the American Brewery, hoped that its towering turrets and Mansard roof, visible over much of the city, would generate a profitable thirstiness for his product. After years of vacancy and decay, the brewery buildings have been restored to life by Humanim, a community-service nonprofit active in the impoverished neighborhood around the brewery.