Historic Tumwater Brewery to see more renovations in Phase 2

Historic Tumwater Brewhouse is entering Phase 2 of its renovations.

Historic Tumwater Brewhouse is entering Phase 2 of its renovations.

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Tumwater’s 1906 brick brewery on the Deschutes River is about to undergo some of the historic structure’s most significant renovations.

The Tumwater Historic Preservation Commission received an update on the Olympia Brewery renovations last week.

The iconic brewery – a predecessor of the dilapidated brewery next to Capitol Boulevard that closed in 2003 – had itself fallen into disrepair over the years until the city embarked on renovations. Phase 1 ended in August 2020. Phase 2 is underway and some major interior projects are on the way.

Phase 1 of the brewery renovations consisted of replacing the old bricks that had eroded on the facade of the building, as well as installing new gutters and windows. Some of the work was basic and cosmetic, but project manager and city spokesperson Ann Cook said this next phase is probably the most important, despite its lack of visual interest.

Phase 2 consists of modernizing the building with appropriate earthquake protection and infrastructure, which is necessary for any future indoor public access or for any use of the brewhouse.

Cook said drilling and geotechnical testing was completed in September and the data has been provided to a structural engineer and architect who will work with her and director of investment projects Don Carney on future scenarios for use of the building and a support system for the tower.

Phase 2 will also include more schematic design proposals, structural engineering, construction plan drawings and more. Cook and Carney have asked the commission for $ 20,000 in funds to continue supporting this part of the project. The committee unanimously approved the proposal on Thursday.

“This job is probably the most boring and the least visible, but it’s the most critical and it’s what we need to do to allow people to access it,” Cook said.

Cook said the group had already started talking about the accessibility of the ADA and the implementation of new stairs and a new elevator. She said the biggest part of the puzzle is figuring out how to fit two stairs together when there is only one now. The existing staircase is not up to code and the higher you go up the building, the less room there is to navigate, she said.

She said the existing elevator shaft is also not ADA accessible and will need to be replaced with a larger one.

“Pretty quickly with this six-story building, the actual footprint on each floor gets pretty small,” she said.

Following these renovations, the interior of the building will be further restored. The original tiled floors will be cleaned, the interior walls replaced and tiled, and the road to the tower will need to be paved.

In the end, the goal is for a private buyer to buy the space for the businesses.

Cook said the plan is to keep the first four levels of the building accessible to the public with businesses such as a tasting room, restaurant or museum. The third floor can be used as a mezzanine and the fifth floor as an office space. The sixth floor inside the tower has limited space and is unlikely to be open to the general public.

The Olympian previously said the city estimates the project will cost a total of $ 6.5 million. The $ 20,000 for the commission comes from its annual budget and will be used to pay architectural and engineering costs.

Restoration efforts are expected to be completed and the brewery open to the public between 2024 and 2026.

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