IC Brewery could become our Pearl

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .


While the drama around demolitions at the former Iron City Brewing Co. unfolds — as it may next week in housing court — here’s some food, or a liquid sandwich, for thought.

In San Antonio, the Pearl Brewery was founded in 1881 and went out of business in 2001. Today it is an exuberant destination of food, farmers markets and a location of the Culinary Institute of America.

The Project for Public Spaces -- the source of these photographs -- is featuring what people now just call The Pearl in its latest e-newsletter. Read that article here.

pearlbrewerySome people fail to realize or envision what a draw an historic property can be with the right players, the right vibe and the right location. The Pearl is on the San Antonio River. The former Iron City Brewing Co. is at the gateway to Lawrenceville and the Strip; a bridge and a hill away from Oakland, and don't forget that on the way to Oakland is Polish Hill, which is into some place-making of its own.

I think most people in Pittsburgh can grasp the significance of the potential of the location. Could it someday be our Pearl, maybe simply "The IC"? 

District Judge Tony Ceoffe is scheduled to hear the case against Collier Development -- for unpermitted demolitions -- on the 23rd.

In San Antonio, where Pearl Beer was made for a long time, the developer Silver Ventures bought the 22-acre property in 2001 and signed on its first tenant in 2006. Then in 2008 and 2009 the place went bonkers with tenants.

Now it has a beautiful park, gathering and eating spaces, a bike share facility, cooking classes and demonstrations, concerts and lots and lots of people flocking to it.

Just sayin'.



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