Schmidt's Brewery site (now the Piazza at Schmidt's)

Poised on the boundary between Northern Liberties and Kensington, this sprawling 15-acre site was home to Schmidt's, Philadelphia's largest and most famous brewery, established in 1860. Schmidt's was the last survivor of Philadelphia's brewing industry, closing down in 1987 after over 125 years and leaving Philadelphia without a brewery for the first time in 300 years. Schmidt's Beer — and its tenacity — was a point of pride for all Philadelphians. The Schmidt's closure signaled once and for all the end of Philadelphia's industrial era. In 2000, a developer purchased the complex at sheriff's auction for almost two million dollars, and demolished all of its 26 buildings. The huge empty lot lay dormant for years as several plans for redeveloping the site were proposed, protested, and stalled. After years of delays and battles between residents and the developers, the Piazza at Schmidt's, a mixed-use complex, opened in May of 2009.

Schmidt's Brewery was founded by German immigrant Christian Schmidt in 1860 and remained in Schmidt family until 1976. Unlike workforces at some other large manufacturers, the Schmidt's Brewery workers—primarily of German and Irish descent—were unionized. The union, and not the Schmidt family, took care of the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of production workers, and provided employee benefits including medical insurance, pensions, and recreational programs. This differed from companies like the nearby Stetson Hat Company, which provided cradle-to-grave services and benefits to employees and their families in the hope of instilling workforce loyalty. The Schmidt family was willing to work with the union, and Schmidt's Brewery earned a reputation as a good place to work, often employing several generations of the same family.

Beginning in the 1990s, Philadelphia has experienced a renaissance of local craft brewing, some if it happening in the same neighborhoods that spawned the city's brewing golden age: Yards Brewery is at Delaware Avenue and Poplar Street, and the Philadelphia Brewing Company occupies the old Weisbrod and Hess Brewery (1882-1939) at 2423 Amber Street in Kensington.

Since developers purchased the Schmidt's site in 2000, their plans for redevelopment of the land have not gone uncontested. Some neighborhood groups expressed concerned about environmental pollution issues stemming from the site's industrial past, and questioned the neighborhood's need for another upscale shopping/condo complex. Despite these issues, the Piazza at Schmidt's, a $150 million complex that includes residential units, retail space, and a large public courtyard, opened in the spring of 2009.

References

Map

Map

Address

2nd Street and Girard Avenue, on the left as you turn onto Girard

View in Google

Tour

Greater Northern Liberties/Lower North Philadelphia

Mt. Tabor African Methodist Church Marshall Street curb market Marshall Street pushcarts mural Emmanuel Full Gospel Temple sign Exterior G. A. Bisler Paper and Box Company factory Brown St above 4th St. St. Agnes-St. John's Nepomucene Roman Catholic Church Northwest Corner of Bodine and Fairmount Ave Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church North Second Street corridor Garden Looms façade Saint Michael’s and Northern Liberties Rec Center, Three Men Talking 423 Fairmount Avenue Philip Kearny School Concilio building Friends Neighborhood Guild building, 151 Fairmount Ave. Richard Allen Homes Guild House building, 1967 Edgar Allan Poe National Historical Site Building of the German Society Wedding Party, Saint Andrew’s Orthodox Church Thomas Mifflin School Ortlieb’s Remains (Liberty Lands in Winter) Madison Court, 1988 Adams & Keen, Factory Kaplan’s Bakery Philadelphia Glass Works Orianna Hill Park Crane, Demolition of the Tannery Cigar Factory Loft exterior Becker Building Gretz Brewery Salvation Army and Historical Marker Crane Co. building sign Al-Aqsa Islamic Society building "A Full and Complete Account of the Late Awful Riots in Philadelphia": Burning of St. Michael's Church, on Wednesday afternoon, May 8 Don Quixote statue Schmidt's Brewery and Tower St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church Stetson Hat Company factory, Building 15 Stores on North 5th Street Taller Puertorriqueño Congreso de Latinos Unidos Casita North Mascher Street casita Tomasita Romero and Iris Brown Norris Square, Hancock and Diamond Streets Ukranian Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church Bull's Head Tavern
Prev Tour Stop 38 of 49 Next

Media

423 Fairmount Avenue. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania 423 Fairmount Avenue. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania 423-21 Fairmount Avenue. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Adams & Keen, Factory. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Agnes Hatcher: Longtime resident of Northern Liberties. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Becker Building. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Becker Building. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Black Horse Inn yard. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Brown Street entrance at Garden Looms. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Building of the German Society. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Bull's Head Tavern. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Burk Brothers. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Burk Brothers Tannery, American Street
. Image provided by Jennifer Baker Catalogue of the Library of the German Society. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Cigar Factory Loft building. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Cigar Factory Loft exterior. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Cigar Factory Loft front entrance. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Cleaning and curing Indian corn. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Contract #S-1958 Front of Russian Church. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Crane Co. building and St. Michael's Church steeple. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Crane Co. building sign. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Crane Company building exterior. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Curtis Publishing Plant/Lofts at Bella Vista. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Dennis Haugh at Liberty Lands Park. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Don Quixote statue. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Don Quixote statue. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Don Quixote statue. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Don Quixote statue. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Dyottville Glass Works. Image provided by HSP Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. Image provided by Temple University Urban Archives Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. Image provided by Emanuel Lutheran Church Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church foundation. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church front entrance. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church front entrance. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church front entrance. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church steeple. Image provided by Emanuel Lutheran Church Emmanuel Full Gospel Temple sign. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Emmanuel Full Temple Gospel. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania English title page of the Catalogue of the Library of the German Society. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Exterior G. A. Bisler Paper and Box Company factory. Image provided by Library Company of Philadelphia Fishtown & Kensington: The Neighborhood Frank Cuneo and Italian & American Maccaroni Works. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Franklin and Brown Streets. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records G.A. Bisler Paper Boxes Building/Liberties Lofts Apartments. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania G.A. Bisler Paper Boxes Building/Liberties Lofts Apartments. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Gable side of 339 Fairmount Avenue. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Garden Looms. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Garden Looms façade. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Garden Looms inventory. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Garden Looms sewing machines. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family German Society of Pennsylvania. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania German Society of Pennsylvania. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Giannini Family marker & site of Verdi Hall. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Glass works of T.W. Dyott. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Gretz Brewery. Image provided by Temple University Urban Archives Ground plan of Globe Mills, 1852. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Hardwick & Magee Co. Carpet Mill and Store. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Interior of Markethouse. Image provided by Philadelphia City Archives Italian & American Maccaroni Works. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Lady of Good Council R.C. Church, Christian above 8th Sts.. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Libby Goldstein in Southwark Queen Village community garden Liberty Lands Park mural. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Madison Court, 1988. Image provided by Temple University Urban Archives Making Hats, J.B. Stetson Company. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Marshall Street pushcarts mural. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Marshall Street pushcarts mural. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Marshall Street pushcarts mural. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Mifflin School. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Mifflin School. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Mifflin School. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Mifflin School. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Moyamensing Botanic Gardens. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Moyamensing Botanic Gardens. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Moyamensing Botanic Gardens. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Mural at Liberty Lands Park. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records North 2nd Street corridor. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania North Second Street corridor. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania North Second Street corridor. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Northwest Corner, 11th Street and Washington Avenue. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Ortlieb's Brewery. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Ortlieb's Brewery. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Ortlieb's Brewery. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Ortlieb’s Remains (Liberty Lands in Winter). Image provided by Jennifer Baker Parrocchia Italiana. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Petty's Island aerial view. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Glass Works. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Glass Works. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Glass Works. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Philip Kearny School. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Playground at Liberty Lands Park. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records PNC Bank at 8th and Christian. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Rieger & Gretz Brewery exterior. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Rieger & Gretz Brewery exterior. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Rieger & Gretz Brewery exterior. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Salvation Army and Historical Marker. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Salvation Army Family Worship and Service Center. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Schmidt's Brewery. Image provided by Temple University Urban Archives Second Floor at Garden Looms. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Second Floor at Garden Looms. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Second Floor at Garden Looms. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Second Floor at Garden Looms. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Second Street. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania South 4th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1880. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design South 4th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1900. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design South 4th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1910. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design South 4th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1920. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design South 4th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1930. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design South 9th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1880. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design South 9th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1880. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design South 9th Street, Nationality/Ethnicity 1900. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design Southeast Corner - 9th Street and Washington Avenue. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Southwark Foundry, 1852. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Southwark Queen Village. Image provided by Gayle Green Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden mural. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church doorway. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Standard Tap. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Standard Tap. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Standard Tap. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Factory. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Factory employee. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Hat building being demolished. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Hat Co. Cavalry Hats Department. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Hat Company building. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Hat Company factory, Building 15. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Hat Company site. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Hat Company site, 2009. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Stetson Hats Building demolition. Image provided by Temple University Urban Archives Stetson Hats Building demolition. Image provided by Temple University Urban Archives Stetson Workers 1910. Image provided by Penn Historical & Museum Commission T. W. Dyott's Glass Works at Kensington on the Delaware, Philadelphia, PA. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Tara Real Estate. Image provided by Jennifer Baker The "Sheel" at Kneses Israel Anshe S'fard. Image provided by Philadelphia City Archives The Antiquarian's Delight. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania The Antiquarian's Delight. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania The Antiquarian's Delight. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Third Floor at Garden Looms. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Third Floor at Garden Looms. Image provided by Murray Rosenberg & family Thomas Mifflin School. Image provided by City of Philadelphia Department of Records Tour group at Liberty Lands Park mural. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania Transatlantic, Blue Windows. Image provided by Jennifer Baker Verdi Hall. Image provided by Historical Society of Pennsylvania View from Our Roof Wallace/Lynd Street (Originally Paschall's Alley), Race/Ethnicity 1880. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design Wallace/Lynd Street (Originally Paschall's Alley), Race/Ethnicity 1900. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design Wallace/Lynd Street (Originally Paschall's Alley), Race/Ethnicity 1910. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design Wallace/Lynd Street (Originally Paschall's Alley), Race/Ethnicity 1920. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design Wallace/Lynd Street (Originally Paschall's Alley), Race/Ethnicity 1930. Image provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Design Women operating box assembling machines. Image provided by Library Company of Philadelphia
Prev Media 1-3 of 152 Next
[X]
Prev Photo X of Y Next
Prev Photo X of Y Next