Work begins on Bently Heritage site

Work has started around the old creamery.

Work has started around the old creamery.

Demolition work began on the Bently Heritage site this week in Minden.

On Tuesday, a jack hammer worked on the monument sign outside of the old butter manufacturing building.

Over the next several months, the nonhistoricial portions of the site, including the tan metal mercantile building along Highway 395 and the blue metal building along Buckeye Road, will be demolished.

All utilities on the property will be taken underground, including the lines crossing Highway 395, Bently spokesman Carlo Luri told Minden Town Board members earlier this month.

Owner Chris Bently is pursuing tax credits from the Nevada Historical Preservation Office and the National Park Service, Luri said.

While work is progressing on the building site, the foundation for the Bently Heritage distillery is being cooked up in the form of corn mash.

Spokeswoman Heidi Saucedo said the master distillers are figuring out taste profiles now.

“We have what we are calling the Incubator,” Saucedo said. “The master distillers are testing all the equipment now and will be determining recipes in the coming months.”

The centerpiece of the project, the Minden Mill, will be home to a whiskey distillery that’s open to the public. Other liquors will be produced in the butter building, including vodka and gin, which don’t require the same aging whiskey does.

While the mill’s shape will remain intact, the facade of the butter building, designed in 1916 by Frederic DeLongchamps, will be all that remains of the current 94,000-square-foot building. The new structure that will replace it will be reduced in size to 21,766 square feet.

Much of the equipment required for the distillery will be housed in the butter building.

Both the mill and the creamery buildings are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

In addition to preserving the historic structures, Bently intends to obtain a LEED Platinum rating by making them certified energy efficient.

The four steel silos, which are now separate, are going to be combined into a cloverleaf structure.

All the red brickwork for the two buildings will be preserved. The wooden barricade along the base of the mill along Highway 395 will be replaced with concrete. The corrugated metal that was added onto the structures will be taken down.

Visitors will be able to look down on the copper stills in the silos from floors located inside the brick portion of the mill.

Construction work is expected to last through the beginning of 2017.

Plans are to install a skin on the former ASPIRE building to blend it with the rest of the campus.


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