The Brewers Exchange, built in 1895 and located in the retail section of Baltimore, was built by the ale and beer brewers guild of Baltimore for negotiating securities and commodities associated with the brewing industry. With its elaborate terra cotta ornament and grand facade, the building served as a monument to the local brewers who established Baltimore as the national center for their trade. During the first decade of the 20th century, the independent breweries consolidated into only a few large companies. Subsequently, the organization sold the building to the Mercantile Savings Bank in 1906.
Joseph Evans Sperry, the designer of the building, was one of Baltimore’s leading architects at the turn of the century. He designed many of the other prominent buildings in Baltimore, including the Equitable Building and the Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower. Sperry borrowed elements from other buildings and applied them to the Brewers Exchange. For example, the arches and stonework details are drawn from his Equitable Building, while the scale, proportion and bays are derivative from the well-known architectural plate of Inigo Jones’ 1632 facade of the Somerset House. The Brewers Exchange has been rehabilitated under the provisions of the Economic Recovery Act of 1980.
The Brewers Exchange is located at 20 Park Ave. Not open to the public.
| Front and side views of Brewers Exchange
Color photo by Shannon Bell, black and white by J. Brough Schamp, National Register of Historic Places