By Tim Kennedy/General Contractor
I remember my unforgettable first impression of walking through the Lovell Building. The feeling of awe that I experienced on that first visit was in reaction to the vast interior spaces and the integrity of the structure. But that first impression was especially shaped by the massive scale of the supporting timbers. There is nothing quite like these massive 20” X 36” fir timbers spanning 50’ in length.
This building is perfect for rebuilding into the Fort George Brewery. Prior to Chris Nemlowill and Jack Harris purchasing the Lovell Building two years ago, the building functioned as an auto dealership and auto service center for decades. Over the last two years, Blind Moses Woodworking and Simo Ranta Painting, along with local subcontractors and the crew from Fort George have reconstructed much of the main floor for the purpose of beer production. Chris and Jack have a great vision to create a welcoming environment for the public to become intimate with this facility. They’ve done that by locating the tap room in the center of the production area. That allows customers to enjoy a beer and view the brewing equipment up close.
Recently, we have worked with Chris and Jack to upgrade the former showroom of the Lovell Building. This is a grand space with 16’ ceilings and once again those massive 20 X 36 supporting beams. What this space needed however was to cheer up many of the unfinished, rough details that remained after initial reconstruction. The upgraded showroom now has a service bar connecting to the tap room. We reused original pocket doors, changing them to a pair of hinged doors, one to the new service bar, the other to a rear corridor for bathroom access and secondary egress. We fashioned a new door panel to match the existing doors. This new panel slides up into the wall cavity at the service counter. We salvaged crown moldings from the original showroom, then sandblasted them and reinstalled them at the ceiling.
Almost weekly, Fort George hosts interesting lectures, sponsors great events and great music. The upgraded showroom will provide a great new gathering place for large groups. Blind Moses Woodworking is proud to be part of this vibrant community gathering space.