The 800 block of N. American Street is a disaster that’s loaded with potential. While the southern end of the block boasts some pretty nice houses, as you get closer to Poplar Street, things get gross fast. The prominent disaster on the block is the rotting ruin of Ortlieb’s Brewing Company, on the west side of the street. Word came out months ago that Tower Investments would be tearing down the old building, but this has not happened as of yet. Next to the blighted structure is a large vacant lot where we observed digging for new homes a year and a half ago, but no homes have risen as of yet.
Across the street from this is the Henry F. Ortlieb Company Bottling House, built in 1948, which has had numerous uses over the last couple of decades but clearly requires some serious renovation to return to use as a fully functional building. And now after several years on the market, the building has a new owner who is going to do just that.
According to a press release, architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake purchased the building last year and have already begun renovations on the property. When this effort is completed in the next twelve months, the building will house 90+ employees of the Kieran Timberlake architecture firm. They’ll be working in an open loft space on the second floor of the building, while the ground floor will be used for “design research activities.” And maybe a break room too? John Milner Architects have been retained to ensure that the building’s historical facade is properly restored.
Isn’t it wonderful to see that this classic building is finally being appropriately brought back to life? Is there a chance that this project will inspire Mr. Blatstein to do the same to the brewery buildings across the street? Mmmm… maybe?