OTR brewery district executive director Steve Hampton said the current owners of the Jackson Brewery building in the 200 block of Mohawk Street were doing work to improve the site with the hopes of eventually developing it into something special -- until tragedy struck in the early hours on Sunday.
"This is one of the most historic brewing sites in the city," Hampton said.
More than a century of history up in flames.
"It's heartbreaking," Hampton said. "These buildings have lasted for over 100 years. They've weathered a lot of abuse, neglect. They have such an amazing, grand history and were such an iconic part of the city's history."
Hampton said brewing at the site stopped around prohibition and the building housed several different businesses over its lifetime before being left vacant the past few years.
"We love seeing the old breweries become breweries again," Hampton said. "But really we want to see these buildings be brought back to life with whatever uses."
The OTR Chamber of commerce said it remains focused on other redevelopment projects in the neighborhood.
Hampton said he's hopeful the building can be salvaged.
"We're going to work very hard with the property owner and the other partners to make sure the building stands for another 100 years, but there's definitely a long road a head of us," Hampton said.
Cincinnati Firefighters called the building a total loss, but Cincinnati City Council member Jeff Pastor responded to rumors about the building's possible demolition with this Tweet:
Received a phone call re: Jackson Brewery being demolished. I can assure you that the City has not directed anyone to demolish the building. Our brave women and men at @CincyFireEMS are still working to put out the fire. More info to come.
— Jeff Pastor (@votePASTOR) December 15, 2019
The cause of the fire is still unknown.