FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2012) — The Kentucky Distillers Association, which represents the state’s signature Bourbon and spirits industry, has a new historic headquarters in the state’s capital city.
The KDA has purchased and restored a portion of the Frankfort Barracks, which were originally erected in 1871 to provide a military presence and protect African Americans in the area. The landmark building is on Shelby Street, a block north from the state Capitol.
“This is a perfect location for our members and our mission to protect and promote our signature industry,” said KDA President Eric Gregory. “It’s central to the seat of government and convenient for our distilleries and access to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour.”
The posts originally consisted of barracks, a guardhouse, baking oven and two one-story hospitals. It quartered members of the 4th and later the 16th U.S. Infantry Regiments, and as listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
The Register listing calls the barracks a “rare example of military architecture of the post-Civil War period in Kentucky … built specifically for and leased to the Federal Government to house federal troops stationed in Frankfort from 1871 to 1876.”
Today, the buildings have been converted to private residences and office suites, but they “still lend a distinctive and military flavor to the area around the Capitol,” according to the Register listing.
The KDA is using one suite for its operations, and the adjoining unit for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour. The address is 614 Shelby Street, Frankfort, Ky., 40601. The phone number is 1-502-875-9351.
Gregory said the site also appealed to the group’s history and heritage.
“The KDA itself is 132 years old, and our members have been entrenched in their local communities for generations,” Gregory said. “We’re proud to restore and preserve this treasured piece of Frankfort’s past.”