Ortlieb’s Bottling Plant To Become Offices Of KieranTimberlake


Ortlieb’s bottling house | Photo: Peter Woodall

One of Philadelphia’s most acclaimed architecture firms, KieranTimberlake, has recently purchased the 1948 Ortlieb’s Bottling Plant on American Street in the Northern Liberties. The firm will renovate the building, designed by the architect Richard Koelle, who studied under Paul Cret at Penn, for its 90+ person office. Move-in is expected in 2014.

KieranTimberlake is the designer of the US Embassy in London and was the top winner of this year’s Philadelphia AIA awards for its addition to the Michener Museum in Doylestown. The firm is also the designer of the US Department of Energy-funded Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, a combined historic renovation and new construction project at the Navy Yard.

According to the architecture firm’s website, KieranTimberlake’s renovation includes a second floor loft and workshop space on the ground floor for design research.

The bottling plant is across the street from the much older brewery, which will be torn down by the developer Bart Blatstein.

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.


  1. another CC firm pulls out. Any septa routes on American St?

    • Not on American per se, but the 5 runs down 2nd and 3rd, and the 57, 3rd and 4th. In addition, this is a few blocks from the El and close to the offices of e.g. Erdy-McHenry and Interface Studio Architects. It may not be in Center City proper, but it’s still in the city, and still extremely close to Center City.

  2. Is there some development in the works for this site? Whole Foods is leaving & now KTA is following suit?

    • I haven’t heard anything about the WholeFoods relocation in years. Don’t know if they are still thinking about moving or not. There is a new condo project going up behind Starbucks, which is associated with the Granary. There was also the Barnes museum and recent renovation to the Rodin museum. So there is a fair share of construction activity around that area, but it could use more restaurants.

  3. The Whole Foods move is officially in the news:

    Happening by 2017.

  4. I didn’t think the bottling house was slated for demolition. It is the newest building and in the best shape of any remaining from the Ortlieb’s brewery complex. Along with the Stock House and Brew House the Bottling House was the last of the post-WWII building projects. The Stock House contained tanks of beer. This is why there are gaping holes in the building, a common sight for a defunct brewery. The tanks were removed through the holes in the walls and either sold as tanks or for scrap.

    The bottling house was where Henry Ortlieb had “Poor Henry’s” brewpub and production brewery for a few years in the late 1990s.

    You can see videoes of Henry giving a tour for my Philadelphia Brewery Tour as well as pics from the tour on my website.


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