Michter's Distillery opening on Main Street still uncertain

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Construction continues to take longer than expected on a new downtown Louisville bourbon attraction.

Renovation work is underway on the old Fort Nelson building on the corner of 8th and Main Streets to build a micro-distillery.

It has been several years since Michter's announced plans to build a micro-distillery in the four story stone and brick building that was constructed in the late 1800's.

About a year and a half ago, a giant steel brace had to be erected on the east side of the building to keep it from collapsing.

As a result, 8th Street between Main and River Road has been reduced to one lane.

Right now the street is closed as construction activity has increased during the past several months.

Construction crews are now in the process of installing a steel frame inside the building.

"We are doing the structural stabilization of the building now," says architect Cash Moter of Joseph and Joseph Architects, "we are putting in structural steel and putting in new foundations underneath the steel, and putting in new concrete floors."

That work is expected to be finished later this year, perhaps in the fall.

Once the building is stabilized from the inside, the outside brace will no longer be needed and will be dismantled.

Then, 8th Street will be reopened and construction will then begin on the distillery.

Merrill Moter, also of Joseph and Joseph, explained how the attraction will look when it is finished. 

"When the building is completed," he says, "there will be a small craft working distillery and there will be every part of the bourbon process shown here including some barrel aging."

Moter says it is still not certain when the micro-distillery will be finished, but that Michter's remains committed to the project even though the estimated $7 million cost is on the increase.

The new micro-distillery will be across Main Street from the Louisville Slugger Museum which is one of the major tourists attractions in the region.

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