Jim Rouse Center of the American Visionary Art Museum

Formerly home to a whiskey barrel warehouse and the offices of the Baltimore Copper Paint Company, the Jim Rouse Center of the American Visionary Art Museum serves as a prime example of adaptive reuse in the City of Baltimore.

Built in the 1930s, the simple brick exterior housed an intricate timber framework to support the whiskey barrels, walls, and roof. After many years of vacancy, the building was given new life as part of the American Visionary Art Museum, which recognizes the work of untrained artists.

When the museum was rehabilitated the architects reused portions of the timber framing as a design element, and also brought in other creative materials.The project explores the use and reuse of found objects. Glass bottle bottoms, barrel staves, exposed brick, refurbished windows and neon signs bring an eclectic look to the building, while both recycling used materials and allowing the building to receive historic tax credit certification.

The project received a Preservation Award from Baltimore Heritage honoring the American Visionary Art Museum, Cho Benn Holback + Associates, Inc., J. Vinton Schafer & Sons, Inc., Burdette, Koehler, Murphy & Associates, Hope Furrer Associates, Inc., Miller, Beam, & Paganelli, Inc., Cramptin/Dunlop Architectural Lighting Services LLC, and Alain Jaramillo.



800 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230