Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Return to Hudepohl Brewery

This is perhaps my favorite building in the city. The building sat abandoned since the Hudepohl Brewing Company left in 1987 and went through a myriad of owners until 2004. A company called Hudepohl Square LLC for bought the brewery $172,000 with intent on developing it into condos. They tore out the mid section of the building and posted the smokestack up for auction to generate buzz for the project. The company ended up getting hit with a series of lawsuits, which although won, left them without the budget needed to continue development, and forced them to pretty much leave the building as is.

The building was pretty much left open until a couple months ago, protected only by a typical chain link fence. During my first trip there with Brian in May 2009 and many later trips we took, even the front door was unlocked. Since the last time I visited here July 4th, the city cracked down on Hudepohl Square, and they put up a 10-14 foot high concrete wall and sealed off all openings 10 feet and lower, including those inside the wall.

The building has been added to many times. Notice the floors on the right side are about 8 feet lower.

Upon entry to the complex, I caught a glimpse of a slightly large black dog or Coyote trot behind the west building out of view. I alerted Brian and we did a quick survey. It was nowhere to be found. After some waiting and no further sign of him, we decided to press on with our exploration, in the direction I saw the dog not go. We were already on grounds 20 minutes. We concluded it meant no harm to us as we would have been attacked already.

We were able to climb our way into the large open room on the first floor. The first thing we noticed was the dog tracks all through the room, leaving us both to ponder how a dog managed to get up here. I remarked that we've turned away from explorations for worse reasons than a potentially vicious dog, but for some reason we were still there. We'd already came this far. We weren't going to miss our chance to look around our favorite building, so despite our better judgement we pressed on, past a lonely chair and a rip in the wall to a room full of old fryers and forklift, and a massive pile of garbage.

May 2009 picture of the loneliest chair.

I was surprised to see this forklift moved 60 feet from where it was the last time I saw it.

Wallets, NES game boxes, and clothes among other things were littered about.
The forklift was right by this pile last year.

We then ventured upstairs. We stopped on the second floor to see if anything up there was different. Not surprisingly the upstairs was exactly as we left it. After taking some pictures and checking again for sign of the dog, we decided to head to the open room and take the stairs to the roof.

Looking out from the main staircase, May 2009

The brick structure to the left is part of the smokestack.

Alternate view, taken May 2009

Nuts and bolts were still organized in their own drawers.

The second floor locker room. May 2009

Many lockers still had items left in them.

These stairs are surprisingly sturdy.

Looking southeast to Longworth Hall, may 2009

You couldn't ask for a better view of Cincinnati

The top of the main staircase May 2009

We decided it was time to wrap up this trip, so we headed back down the main staircase to the ground floor and exited through the way we came back out to the yard. Before leaving we wanted to see if we could find a way in the western half of the building where all the shipping and receiving used to happen. Brian found an open door and in we went. We somehow hadn't seen this room yet. Our flashlights were dimming and it was getting dark, and we still didn't have the slightest clue where the dog was hiding, so we decided it was best to get out of there.

A surprisingly nice lawnmower.

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