Mark Trier, FAIA,
Whiskey Row Stabilization | Louisville, Ky
Seven historic buildings located on West Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky, comprise what is known locally as Whiskey Row. These buildings, considered as part of the “Iron Quarter Block”, were built in the mid- to late-nineteenth century and are part of Louisville’s rich history in early bourbon and whiskey making. They were recently purchased by a local group of concerned citizens in order to preserve one of the community’s most important architectural heritages. JRA Architects was selected by the Mayin LLC as the lead consultant on the preservation endeavor.
After surveying the existing conditions, it was determined that four of the seven buildings’ interiors had deteriorated so significantly that they must be selectively demolished. This occurred only after elements of the interior buildings were saved and all of the Main Street façades were preserved. The façades were saved by installing a six-story steel bracing system, which was firmly attached to the sub-basement level with augur cast piers. Foundation specialists GEM Engineers provided on-the-spot decision making in order to carefully excavate the areas next to potentially crumbling buildings.
Three of the buildings were able to be saved by rebuilding selected portions of the exterior, adding a new roof, and installing interior columns at key locations. Historic tin ceilings, heavy timber trim, and turn-of-the-century molding were salvaged and incorporated into the preserved buildings. JRA takes pride in historic preservation work, particularly with such an important community landmark as Whiskey Row.