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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Julie Dorsie, Betty Bird and Assoc., 01/2002
Gunther Brewing Company
Inventory No.: B-998
Other Name(s): Hamm's Brewing Company
Date Listed: 12/26/2002
Location: 1200,1211,1301 S. Conkling Street & 3601,3701 O'Donnell Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1900-1960
Description: The Gunther Brewing Company Complex, now the plant for Tulkoff's Horseradish, occupies a large site roughly shaped like a quarter circle immediately east of the Canton Historic District in Baltimore. The numerous buildings on the site were constructed between 1900 and 1963. There are 15 masonry buildings on the site in ruinous to good condition. In the center of the property is a contiguous complex composed of a 5-story brick L-shaped Romanesque Revival-style brew house with a c. 1910 two-story brick ice plant extending to the east, connecting it with the c. 1900-1930 one- and two-story boiler room. Attached to the north of the brew house is a c. 1910 wash house. East of the 1900 brew house and north of the ice plant, a 1936 brew house was constructed, and a 1950 brew house to the north of that, attached to the east side of the wash house. A c. 1914/1930s shipping & bottling building to the south is largely one-story in height, trapezoidal shaped, and is the product of a number of additions and expansions. The northwest corner of this building retains a c. 1914 round-arched opening with decorative brickwork in the north wall. To the north of the brew house complex is a contiguous complex consisting of the ruin of a c. 1900 stable, a two-story c. 1900 "Old Office", a 1949 stock house, a c. 1960 blue and white addition, and a one-story racking/wash room with a stepped parapet and corbeled brick cornice and water table. A 1955 warehouse lies to the west of this complex, and to the north is a c. 1955 office connected to the c. 1920s White-Seidenman Warehouse. To the east of the old brew house complex is the c. 1964 Tulkoff Factory and Warehouse. When the brewery ceased operations in 1978, large portions of the rear walls of some buildings were demolished to facilitate salvage. No equipment from the brewery remains in the complex. Because of the continual reworking of buildings on the site, the complex as a whole offers a palimpsest depicting the history of the brewery over a 100-year period. Significance: The Gunther Brewing Company, a complex roughly bounded by O'Donnell Street on the north, Conkling Street on the west, and railroad tracks on the south and east, has been associated with the storage and production of beer since the 19th century. The Gunther Brewing Company is significant for its long association with brewing, an important Baltimore industry closely linked with Baltimore's dominant German population. It illustrates how the brewing industry evolved through changing technology, consolidation of operations, Prohibition, and the modern post-prohibition era. The George Gunther, Jr. Brewing Company, founded in 1900, was the second largest brewery in Baltimore by 1959, when it produced 800,000 barrels per year and employed approximately 600 people. Because of the exceptional local importance of brewing and the long survival of the Gunther Brewing Company under local control, the period of significance of this resource extends to 1960. Hamm's Brewing Company, a Minneapolis concern, bought the Gunther Brewing Company in 1960, and the quality and quantity of production at the brewery began a slow decline culminating in the closure of the brewery in 1978.
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