Work to start the arduous process of repairing the fire-ravaged husks on Louisville’s Whiskey Row officially started today, with an immediate focus on short-term stabilization, according to a press release.
A major portion of the 100 block of West Main Street, aka Whiskey Row, was consumed by fire on July 6. The fire was ruled accidental, the result of repair work being done by an acetylene torch. The buildings at 111, 113, and 115 Whiskey Row all suffered major damage in the fire; all three also saw their roofs cave in.
“Main Street Revitalization, LLC is pleased to announce that, today, short-term stabilization work will begin on the Main Street facades of Whiskey Row,” Craig Greenberg, co-developer of Main Street Revitalization, said in the press release. “Similar work on Washington Street will follow.”
As detailed by IL, 111 Whiskey Row was being developed by Main Street Revitalization, a group headed up by Valle Jones and Greenberg, who is also president of 21c Museum Hotels. Just before the fire, construction work had begun on 111 Whiskey Row, which included three buildings and was being marketed as a mixed-use development to potential lessees.
The press release said the short-term stabilization plan will focus on minimizing further damage to the facades and what remains of the historic buildings, and will mostly include temporary, exterior supports.
The longer-term fixes, construction plans and a detailed timeline were not disclosed in the press release. “The damage associated with last week’s fire requires us to reconfigure our original development and construction plans; working with our architects, engineers, the State Historic Preservation Office, and our prospective tenants, we have begun this work,” Greenberg said in the statement. “Realistically, this work will take at least several months to get back on track.”
The press statement was released by Bob Gunnell of Boxcar PR. IL contacted Gunnell, who said further updates on the progress of the repairs will not be available for several weeks. He added that Whiskey Row’s developers soon will convene to discuss next steps.
The stabilization work is a positive development; at the time of the fire, Greenberg told IL the future of the buildings was uncertain: “Not only the facades took a beating, but so much of the rest of the building was lost from fire and water damage — just from fighting the fire — that the structural integrity of the facades, we still need to figure that out.”
Correction: The initial version of this post incorrectly attributed a quote from the press release to Boxcar PR.