College Projects

Jackson Brewery

General Information

Duration: 4 Weeks for Field Measuring and Base Drawings, 6 Weeks for Design and Presentation
Academic Level: College, Fourth Year, Spring Quarter
Drawing Medium: Computer Generated with PowerCADD 2000

Program Information

The old Jackson Brewery building, more commonly know as the Metal Blast building, is a historic gem that has been left to decay for nearly half a century. This is one of the few historic brewery buildings left in Cincinnati, and it is one of the oldest, dating from about 1840. This large structure, sitting at the foot of Bellevue Hill has large open spaces inside, two levels of underground stone vaults and windows facing all of downtown Cincinnati to the south. After the 1940s the building was no longer used for producing alcoholic beverages. Since then it has housed a metalworking shop (hence the name) and storage for salvaged restaurant equipment. In this time the building has deteriorated severely.
The purpose of this project was to design an adaptive reuse for the Jackson Brewery building. This was done with the help of a local architect who purchased the building early in the year 2000. Issues relating to historic preservation, such as the standards set forth by the Secretary of the Interior had to be taken into consideration when working with the building. There were also many issues that related to safety and functionality, such as fire egress, lack of any working mechanical systems and structural failures.

Personal Requirements

Because of the good views to the south and the large open spaces of the Jackson Brewery building, converting it to a residential use on the above-ground floors seemed appropriate. All of the original fabric in the front of the building was retained and restored, while some unsympathetic additions in the rear were replaced. The new addition houses a parking garage with new residential living units and a small courtyard above. Below ground, the vaults were converted to a restaurant and a health club.

Because the Jackson Brewery Building has a great deal or ornamental brickwork, and a commanding façade, it was important to respect that detailing and replace some of it that was lost. To give the building back some of its prominence, being at the end of a long axis with Elm Street below, the long missing tower on the roof was replaced using old photographs as a reference.  


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