Belnord Theatre

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Encore Sustainable Architects provided LEED certification, historical architect, interior design, historic tax credit, and construction administration services for the historic preservation of the Belnord Theatre built in 1921.

CASA de Maryland purchased the building located in the East Monument National Register Historic District with a plan for the adaptive reuse of the former movie palace/night club/foodarama/furniture store.  The historic and green building, completed in 2020, will serve 11,000 annually as a regional employment and education center. The new center includes a vocational training lab, job dispatch center, and space for classes, services, youth programs, and community gatherings. The official name of the building is the CASA Baltimore Regional Educational and Employment Center at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building.

Ward Bucher’s innovative and unobtrusive “pod concept” divides the mass of infill rooms into discreet segments so that the volumes of big ground floor flex-space and the space above the balcony can still be perceived.

View the full story of the project and its transformations.
View animations and details of the transformation of the balcony, grand hall and domed ceiling.

“It is amazing what we’ve created out of that property.  It was the perfect location, but the wrong building for this Center – structural issues, space limitations and historic requirements made it a challenge, but the team rose to, and conquered, the challenge.”

Bob Brehm, Project Manager, Organizational Assistance LLC

“When you are part of a project like this, you see one part, from your perspective, at the beginning. But you’re financing a dream – a collective one… I remember walking through the dust and debris early on in the project, and now it is just beautiful. Functional. Welcoming. The team was visionary in seeing the potential of the Belnord Theatre and executing its transformation. This is a group that will pay huge dividends in the community they serve.”

Dana Johnson, Managing Director, Reinvestment Fund

TEAM

Project Management
Organizational Assistance LLC

Design
Historical Architect: Encore Sustainable Architects
Architect of Record: JRS Architects Structural: Albrecht
Engineering
MEP Engineer: Burdette , Koehler, Murphy &
Associates

Construction
General Contractor: Hamel Commercial

Photography: After images by Ken Wyner Photography

Funding
The Weinberg Foundation
The City of Baltimore
The State of Maryland
New Market Tax Credits
Federal Historic Tax Credits
Maryland Historic Tax Credits
Tax credit financing partners include: PNC Bank, Raza Development Fund, The Reinvestment Fund, and Twain Financial Partners

Media

Casa de Maryland breaks ground on new education and jobs center in McElderry Park
Baltimore approves $1.25 million to turn old movie theater into hub for growing Latino community
Library Square Revitalization
Baltimore projects among recipients of $9M in state historic tax credits