Preserve This – Brewer’s Alley

Preserve This – Brewer’s Alley


One of Frederick’s most prominent
buildings is located at 124 North Market Street. This historic building embodies
the highest levels of architectural and historical significance as it is a
premier example of Italianate architecture in the city. This 1887
insurance map shows that the building originally had multiple uses. Not only
was this impressive building the home of City Hall, it also held the City
Opera House. At the rear of the building was a large market space. The building
served as a center of government, entertainment, and shopping well into the
20th century until the rear portion of the building was removed to make way for
parking. Today, the former City Hall is home to
Brewer’s Alley, a popular downtown restaurant. Although this historic
building, with impressive Victorian-Era brick detailing and arched windows, is
protected by the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance, it doesn’t mean
that it can’t evolve and adapt to its new use. In 2016, the building was
expanded by an addition located off the side and rear elevations. The project
features a modern, industrial look and adds significant dining space and a
rooftop terrace. Although the materials and finishes of
the addition contrast with the traditional Italianate design, the
addition is set back and doesn’t distract from the historic facade. When
you look at the building from the side or rear elevations, you can see that the
industrial character of the addition matches the utilitarian design found at
the rear and side of the building. Any required demolition was limited to non-historic elements of the building while original features were preserved. For
example, this non-historic one-story lobby and vestibule did not add to the
historic value of the building. Therefore, major alterations to this
portion of the building were permitted. Other features, such as a brick archway
that had been blocked in, were rehabilitated to their original form and
now serve as a beautiful, functional element in the restaurant. Character-defining features on the front of the building remained unchanged, while minor
alterations to the side and rear of the building occurred to allow the
restaurant to expand. The new rooftop patio is a cool and fun place to enjoy a
meal and get a different perspective the old city hall building and the
surrounding area. Learn more about Frederick’s Historic
Preservation Commission. Go to www.city offrederick.com/preservation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *