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Can Iconic Hudepohl Smokestack Be Saved?

Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati Council is giving the go ahead to a plan to fund demolishing the former Hudepohl Brewing facility in Queensgate.  

But Council wants the Port Authority, which owns the property, to try to preserve the iconic smokestack.
"If you get to a point in the demolition where you think it's not going to be able to be saved, come back to us first," says Council Member Chris Seelbach. "But this doesn't guarantee that it will be saved. The city is not going to pay, I don't think, for it to be saved. But it strongly encourages the Port to do everything they can, and I know they will, to try to save, I think, this important part of our history and of our skyline."

Port officials said earlier this week engineers will have to determine if the smokestack can be saved and how much it would cost. They also say that funding is likely not available.

Council Member Kevin Flynn cast the only vote against the funding plan. He's concerned about conflicting numbers about the cost of demolition.

"If you provide me with a budget that says it's going to cost $3.5 million, which includes a $170,000 fee for the Port," Flynn says. "And then you come in here saying we're going to get it done for $2 million, there's something that just doesn't seem right about that."

Flynn says he thinks it will be the higher number and the Port will come back to the city asking for additional money.  

The Port purchased the building in 2015 and wants to clear the site for future economic development.

The city condemned it in 2007 and again 2009. Officials say it's in bad shape and it isn't economically feasible to save it.  

The old facility has created some public safety issues as people climb around the building to explore it.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.