The transformation of the historic Lion Brothers building in southwest Baltimore has given new life to a long-abandoned industrial structure in the rapidly revitalizing Hollins Market neighborhood, adjacent to the University of Maryland BioPark.

Details

  • A three-story manufacturing building transformed to office, studio, and retail space
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Received state and federal historic tax credits
  • Exterior restoration, new core, new MEP systems, and tenant space design

Awards

  • Baltimore Heritage Award
  • CREW Community Impact Award

Originally built in 1885 as a livery stable, the building was occupied for many years by the Lion Brothers embroidery company, with several additions constructed throughout the 20th century. Quinn Evans Architects oversaw an exterior restoration as well as the creation of a modern workspace that retains the building’s industrial character. 

Misaligned floors and multiple interventions from a variety of architectural eras challenged the design team to create a cohesive, efficient plan allowing for multiple tenants and uses. The interior features a new central core with an open stair, exposed brick walls and ductwork, refinished concrete and wood floors, and the original sliding, steel-clad fire doors. Vibrant colors and environmental graphics enliven the tenant spaces, inspired by the terracotta medallions along the exterior that depict embroidered patches once made in the factory. The extensive use of glass throughout the interior creates transparency and allows for ample natural light within the office and studio spaces. The building offers a variety of workplace environments, including traditional office, open concept, and cutting-edge co-working spaces. 

The Lion Brothers building is fully leased and serves as home to a dynamic mix of tenants, including the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Intermedia and Digital Arts program; the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Graduate Research Innovation District (GRID); Enterprise Homes; and a number of other businesses and organizations. The building now offers an engaging presence along the street, with accessible parking nearby. Many of the previously boarded-up industrial steel windows were restored and upgraded to improve thermal comfort, with others replaced as needed. Exterior lighting illuminates the building at night, making the structure visible throughout the community and to drivers entering the city from the south.