FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 20, 2004
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Robert E. Rubenkonig, Jr.
Vice President and Director,
Marketing and Communications
Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse
1040 Hull Street, Suite 200
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
The venerable and recognizable logo of “Natty Boh” beer – popular beginning in the 1930s when the National Brewing Company first added the symbol to the label of National Bohemian beer — will be introduced to a new generation of admirers beginning October 21, as it becomes immortalized in red neon lights high atop Brewers Hill in Canton. The history of the company brewing in Baltimore dates to 1885.
The famous “eye-con” will be unveiled at a ceremony beginning at 6:00 pm, located at 3601 O’Donnell Street, with a number of company dignitaries and Baltimore City officials expected to attend. The sign will be officially turned on at approximately 7:30 pm by former employees of the National Brewing Company that worked at the downtown brewery.
Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and Obrecht Commercial Real Estate, Inc. are transforming the former breweries of Gunther Brewery and the National Brewing Company – where “Natty Boh” was first brewed – into an adaptive reuse project combining 400,000 square feet of Class “A” office space, 150,000 square feet of flex/office, 90,000 square feet of convenience retail, as well as 100 residential units featuring apartments and lofts. The complex is positioned approximately five blocks from Historic Canton Square, and is within close proximity to Baltimore’s Central Business District and Fells Point and Interstate 95. Last week, MetLife signed a lease for 20,000 square feet of office space at the project, where it will move approximately 100 workers by years-end. More information can be obtained at www.brewershill.net.
Designed by Castro Arts, fabricated by Ashton Design, engineered by Skarda Egineering and installed by Triangle Sign Company – all Baltimore-based firms – the $175,000 sign measures 27 feet by 30 feet, is two-sided with one face looking at Interstate 95 and the other watching over Boston Street and consists of red neon lights. A large bushy mustache frames the face and the eye will be timed to “wink” periodically throughout the night.
“Brewers Hill represents a landmark development in downtown Baltimore that will inject new enthusiasm and energy into the Canton area and, as such, it deserves a recognizable symbol to help establish its new identity,” explained Bill Struever, President and CEO of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse. “The use of the Natty Boh logo was a natural selection as it harkens back to the original use of the building, brands the project with a logo unmistakably associated with Baltimore and it is daring and eye-catching. We think it brings new meaning to the word ‘eye-con’,” he added.
“He only has one eye, but he uses it well,” said Wells Obrecht, owner of Obrecht Commercial Real Estate, whose firm is developing the project in partnership with SBER. “This brings back to life one of the great logos from the 1950s, and it will serve as a beacon for Brewers Hill and a directional landmark in the downtown area. We particularly like the fact that he is now watching over the Land of Pleasant Living. The winking action is both erratic and without pattern, as we are trying to create a level of heightened anticipation among people that view the sign. We think this feature adds a unique element and level of mystique,” he added.
Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse regularly incorporates interesting and attention-getting signage at high-profile projects around the Baltimore metropolitan region. Examples include the neon crab that climbs up and down the smokestack at the Philips Seafood headquarters, the Stieff Silver sign overlooking the Jones Falls Expressway and the distinctive use of signage at Tide Point, the American Can Company and Bond Street Wharf. All were designed to replicate the architecture of yesteryear and remain true to the heritage of the buildings in the City.
“Our company invests a great deal of time and effort in the design of our signage, because it typically represents the first visual impression of the development,” stated Bill Struever. “We continually strive for the creation of memorable signage that stimulates discussion, creates a reaction or arouses an emotion in an effort to draw increased attention to our projects. In Natty Boh, we have a memorable symbol of Baltimore from the industrial era of the 1950s and 1960s that will encourage long-time Baltimoreans to reminisce and smile. We also think the signage will jump-start a new generation of admirers of the famous logo,”
Recognized as “Mr. Boh,” the one-eyed mascot for National Bohemian beer first appeared on bottle labels in the 1930s and later starred in television commercials beginning in the 1960s. The company’s advertising and National Premium and Colt 45 malt liquor brands were synonymous with Baltimore, and the National Brewing Company was the largest brewery in the City. The beer is still owned by Pabst Brewing Company.
Brewers Hill will also include a small museum featuring an exhibition of memorabilia and artifacts honoring the history of the National and Gunther Breweries in Baltimore.
Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc. (SBER) was founded in 1974 and provides a full spectrum of commercial and residential development and construction services. Headquartered in Baltimore, SBER’s driving objective is to “Build Better Communities” and is currently active in Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. The company’s specialty is the adaptive reuse of older, historically significant properties, which include The Can Company and Tide Point. For more information, visit www.sber.com or call 443-573-4000.
For additional information,
Contact: Larry Lichtenauer
Lawrence Howard & Associates, Inc.