For nearly forty years, The American Brewery building, once symbolic of a thriving East Baltimore, stood as a symbol of despair looming over an abandoned neighborhood. In response to this stark reality, Humanim embarked on the renovation of the American Brewery to house employment programs and clinical support services to support residents of this area.
This capital project, initiated in 2007, was made possible through the leveraging of the funds made available through the State of Maryland’s Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit, the precursor to the current Sustainable Communities Tax Credit, along with federal Historic/New Market Tax Credits and other sources. The use of tax credits and philanthropic dollars allowed for Humanim and its partners (Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Synthesis, Cho Benn Holback), to fund the restoration of the 30,000 square foot brew-house.
Since the project’s completion in 2009, the restored American Brewery Building has served as a catalyst for development and a symbol of hope for a community committed to change and revitalization. Since opening, Humanim has been able to have the space necessary to provide access to employment and clinical services for 1,300 low-income individuals – representing an increase of 300 individuals within the first year. Additionally, our organization has relocated 250 staff to the building, and 40 East Baltimore residents were also hired throughout the first year.
The renaissance that has taken place at Humanim's American Brewery Building has attracted a following within and beyond the City of Baltimore. Numerous public-sector entities, including the City of Baltimore, the Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and countless philanthropic and private-sector business organizations have utilized the building as a convening point for thoughtful discussion regarding issues of local and national concern. The use of American Brewery as an event space has proven to be a welcome opportunity for social entrepreneurship.