Brewhouse celebrated in Landmark Ornament Collection

From its humble beginnings in 1847, the brewery built by Johnathan Peacock expanded into the imposing brewhouse building along Rockford’s historic industrial riverfront. After years of abandonment, Lloyd  and Diane Koch acquired the building and spearheaded the development of the the Prairie Street Brewhouse, a mixed use complex that has become a true Rockford Landmark.

The historic Prairie Street Brewhouse has been selected as J.R. Kortman Center for Design’s ornament for 2016 in the Rockford Landmark Ornament Collection.

“When you combine its long downtown history along the Rock River with it’s contemporary use as an extremely popular gathering and event space, the Prairie Street Brewhouse is one of Rockford’s grandest landmarks,” says Doc Slafkosky, co-owner of J. R. Kortman. “It’s not only historic architecturally, but it has a special place in a lot people’s hearts, since the Brewhouse hosts weddings, grand parties, and other significant community events.”

The original image for the Brewhouse ornament was a painting created by Rockford artist Jeanne Ludeke.

15385477_10154771034151499_8841050132365997068_o“We took that image to Beijing where the artist who hand-paints each ornament was able to transpose Jeanne’s painting on the inside of a clear ornament sphere, utilizing an ancient Chinese folk art technique” said co-owner Jerry Kortman. “It’s fascinating to see how our artist communicated visually with the Chinese artist through the language of art.”

The ornament features not only an image of the Brewhouse building, but also the Prairie Street Brewhouse “peacock” logo is painted on the back.

For more than 18 years J. R. Kortman Center for Design has been featuring hand-painted ornaments depicting Rockford landmarks sold year round at the downtown Rockford concept store and gallery.

The Brewhouse ornament is not only available at J. R. Kortman, 107 North Main Street, but can also be purchased at the Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie Street.

Besides the Brewhouse, the Rockford Landmark Ornament Collection includes East and West High Schools, St. Anthony Church, Blackhawk Statue, “Symbol” sculpture, two views of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laurent House, a special edition of Memorial Hall, and the North Main Street Armory. Other ornaments available in the Landmark Collection include, the Beattie Park Gazebo, Sinnissippi Lagoon, the Faust Landmark Building, Coronado, and Midway Theater Buildings, the Woodward Governor building, and the Sinnissippi Burr Oak Tree. Over the past 15 years the “Symbol” ornament has been the best selling ornament in the collection.

“Other top sellers include four ornaments depicting different scenes of the beautiful Anderson Japanese Gardens and Nicholas Conservatory,” says Slafkosky.

In addition to the Swedish Historical Society’s “Erlander Home,” other historic houses in the collection include the  “Limestone Mansion,” home to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and the “Cobblestone House,” located at 2127 Broadway, one of Rockford’s oldest houses.

All the Landmark ornament images are individually hand-painted on the inside of a glass sphere, utilizing an ancient Chinese technique originally applied to “snuff” bottles. Each collectable ornament is a miniature work of art.

For more info, contact Doc or Jerry at 968-0123.

–JR Kortman

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