Backstory and Context
The building’s exterior includes various Romanesque features. The building has been expanded through the years to combine several smaller buildings into a single structure.
Prior to being home to a county office, the former brewery was home to a multi-level nightclub known as Jillian’s. The club closed in 2007 and the structure was purchased by Columbia Sussex, a real-estate development company, after eight years of vacancy.
The corporation had plans to transform the building into a casino as Kentucky looked likely to pass more progressive gaming legislation. When the legalization of gambling lost momentum amongst lawmakers, Columbia Sussex announced plans to demolish their building. In their application for a demolition permit, the company argued that the surrounding property value would subsequently increase and the removal of the building would increase the appeal of the land to potential buyers. In 2015, Covington’s Urban Design Review Board denied Columbia Sussex’s application to demolish the building and the application was also unanimously denied by the Covington City Commission.
The building's fate was still uncertain, and local residents and preservationists took action to preserve the historic property from demolition. With the support of concerned citizens, Kenton County decided to purchase the building in 2016. Preservationists were relieved when Kenton County Fiscal Court announced a deal to acquire the property from Columbia Sussex for $4.5 million. The county planned to use the former brewery as their headquarters, along with an additional building that would be built adjacent to the structure. Construction and renovations of the building were expected to be completed in spring 2019.
While the brewery closed many years ago, the brewing tradition continues and the local Covington-Cincinnati brewing industry is thriving with the opening of numerous breweries throughout the region in the past decade.
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