Let's discuss the history here, no not the 'this was once a brewery history', the recent history with this building. When I first moved here the movie "Tin Men" turned up in theaters, and the last scene of this movie featured a shot of this building in the distance. It became my mission to find it. Back then there was no Internet but somehow somewhere someone turned me on to its location. The American Brewery is an architectural marvel. The best thing about it is its location. There is no worse location anywhere for anything than in the 1700 block of Gay Street. Baghdad, Kabul and Berlin during the siege are in better shape. Think the Alamo or Murder at the OK Corral.
The fine city of Baltimore desperately wanted somebody to take this place on, sink some money into it and save it. But developers are all about earning money, which means they would need a buyer or a renter once they got done and absolutely nobody nowhere is going to want to venture into this hood, not during the night, not during the day, not at high noon. As the city argued with developers and begged the state for some sort of tax relief for the project, this wonderful building sat idle and untouched, a wonderful refuge from the rehabilitation assault that is currently in place on every warehouse, B-rated office building and
But the machinations of government was moving forward behind the scenes. They got all the usual suspects together, Bill Struever to build it, Diane Cho to design it, but the very best juiciest part of this story is that somebody conned some goody-two-shoes outfit to move in. The current address of the do-gooders is off of Broken Land Parkway in that bland nowhereville called Columbia. Here is a picture of Humanim's current offices in plush Howard County:
Here is an aerial picture of Humanim's future home:
People, I can't tell how good this is going to get when Humanim tries to convince their workerbees to relocate. I envision an suburban office full of young hip ratdogs. What is a ratdog? It is a little term I have cooked up for spoiled young white women armed with a college education and an office job. The one thing that terrifies the ratdogs the most is big black negroes, and this neighborhood is filled with lots of big black negroes. Is Humanim going to provide vehicle escort service for their workers? Where are these ratdogs going to find a Starbucks in this hood? A gym? Nail salon?
I know this hood well. There are a few places nearby where you can get your car detailed, and get a great deal on a used appliance. If you are too lazy to visit the pharmacy for your prescription meds, boy, is this the place for you! The locals are willing to deliver and you don't have to pay market rates.
Me? I'd be thrilled and honored to be able to work on the East Side. I could get a decent serving of lake trout for lunch and get a fantastic wash and wax for my minivan, plus this hood is unparalleled when it comes to urban hiking. But I don't think those rat dogs eat lake trout so be sure to stay tuned for January 2009 when Humanim does the relo, I certainly will.
Updated 06/24/12 Did I actually write that back in 2008? What a difference a few years makes. Tonight I had a meeting at the Humanim offices and I grabbed my camera. I took a lot of pictures and developed this slide show to show you what the inside of the American Brewery looks like. It's actually quite pleasant, and I liked they way they paid homage to what was there before. I'll assume by this time most of the old Columbia Humanim team has been replace by more-appropriate city dwellers.