The United States has a rich tradition of preserving historical architecture through various methods of restoration and adaptation into something new. In the neighborhood of Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one can find a unique preservation job, a church turned into a brewery.
The Church Brew Works located on 3525 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh is exactly that, a brewery housed in an old Roman Catholic Church. The church was originally built in 1902 as St. John the Baptist Church to serve the European immigrants who migrated to Lawrenceville to work in the mills that were sprouting up throughout the Pittsburgh area.
The finest craftsmen of the time were employed in its construction and it was designed in a Northern Italian Architectural Style so it felt like home for the immigrants. Despite having so much industry at its backdoor, the church never had strong financial footing and finally closed its doors in 1993.
After a while of sitting vacant, work on The Church Brew Works began and the renovators made sure to put just as much intricacies in its remodeling as was taken in the original construction. Great care was taken to reuse much of the church. The pews were shortened and the extra oak salvaged from the pews was repurposed for the bar, the flooring is the original flooring of the church, and many other artifacts from the church have been reused including bricks, lanterns, and even the confessional.
The bar and seating currently stands where the altar once did, conveniently in the middle of the church, which gives patrons a wonderful view while enjoying their brews and food. With plenty of different beer options and food from around the country taking in a beer and some food will truly be a spiritual adventure.