Then and now: Let's hoist a stein to a former brewery's past and present

December 7, 2011

Too often we see fine old buildings turn to dust and rubble--particularly out in the neighborhoods.

But this doesn't always happen, of course. We remember the demolished buildings but often pass by the ones that are saved. A good example is the former Schoenhofen Brewery near 18th and Canalport. The above photo shows the beautiful Prairie School-style powerhouse---an essay in symmetry and verticality--built in 1902 and designed by architects Schmidt Garden & Martin. The three story brick Victorian structure to the left is the brewery's former administration building, designed by Adolph Cudell and built in 1886.

Both buildings look good today, having been restored and renovated in recent years. But compare the above photo to the next one, taken by photographer Larry Thall in the 1970s. The difference is startling. What was once a near-dump that looked as if its better days were behnd it is now a showplace awaiting a future use. Thall's photo--and his other B&W photos below--are from the Library of Congress collection.

Two closer views of the administration building, past, and present:

The preservation battle in this city is ongoing, especially in respect to beweries. But still, it's good to take notice of the victories every now and then.