Group wants to save iconic Hudepohl smokestack despite demolition plan

QUEENSGATE, OH (FOX19) - Despite plans to demolish the Hudepohl smokestack and building on W. Sixth St. in Queensgate this fall, officials with the Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail are hoping they can at least save the bricks and reassemble the iconic structure at another location.

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority purchased the old brewery and tower for $400,000 in 2014. The previous owners had been cited with building code violations on the dilapidated facility.  A recent study conducted by The Port found the cost to repair the smokestack would be nearly $1 million.

The smokestack is 170 feet tall and hasn't been used in over a quarter of a century.

In March, Cincinnati City Council voted 8-1 to approve spending $2 million on the demolition. Councilman Kevin Flynn was the lone no vote. Flynn told the Cincinnati Enquirer the demolition is "smoke and mirrors," stating that it would likely cost $3.5 million to demolish the five buildings associated with the complex.

Councilwoman Yvette Simpson said she's not willing to delay the demolition "one more day," saying the property is needed for redevelopment. "If we don't prepare this site for jobs, they will continue to go north," Simpson told the Enquirer.

Moving just a 70 foot portion of the smokestack would cost an estimated $975,000, according to the Enquirer report, citing the estimate from Cincinnati-based Fenton Rigging and Contracting.

The Hudepohl buildings on W. Sixth St. were once booming industries and part of Cincinnati's brewery history. The company's Hudy Delight and Hudepohl 14-k beers are now owned by Christian Moerlein and are brewed in Over-The-Rhine.

The Cincinnati Enquirer contributed to this report.

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