Beer dreams take shape at empty Eden Park pump station

A 19th-century Water Works pump station could soon become a brewery, if a local father-and-son duo gets its way. Bryon and Jack Martin of Cincinnati Beer Company have put together a plan to purchase and transform the Eden Park Pump Station, a red brick, Samuel Hannaford-designed building near the Krohn Conservatory, into a microbrewery, complete with a taproom and biergarten.  

“We would like to serve restaurants and bars in the tri-state area,” Jack Martin says.

The pair already has support from a range of community groups, including the Cincinnati Park Board.   Steve Schuckman, the superintendent of the Cincinnati Park Board’s Division of Planning and Design, says the board likes the idea.  “It would benefit the park by returning a vacant and deteriorating building to productive use,” he says.

The building has a varied history. Since 1907, when it ceased operation as a reservoir pumphouse, it was used by the fire department, then the police as a dispatch station. But in recent years, it has been left to incur serious water damage and other structural problems.

The Martins have already worked with the administration and several city departments, including the Cincinnati Water Works, to gain approval. There were some negotiations, but “every condition that was raised, we met,” Jack Martin says.

Cincinnati City Council’s Strategic Growth Committee viewed a presentation by the company last week, but did not discuss the proposal at length. Later this month, the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee will meet with the developers.  

“Ultimately, City Council has to sign off on the project,” Jack Martin says.

By Emily Schneider
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