Introduction to BGT deTours: Lorillard Lofts - Lexington Luminary

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Introduction to BGT deTours: Lorillard Lofts


The Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation - BGT, for short - was founded in 1955 with one mission: To save historic structures from demolition, dismemberment, and other undesirable fates. The BGT launched their first ever deTour in 2011, and it would eventually become an ongoing series of experiences aimed at expanding their audience beyond the traditional members by offering the general public monthly, small group outings to buildings and areas of interest. In downtown Lexington it seems as though every other building prominently features the trademark BGT Plaque, and many of those that don't still fall within the parameters of being considered historically-significant structures. Fittingly, the downtown-adjacent November deTour of the Lorillard Lofts drew a tremendous amount of public interest having been shrouded in mystery over the decades.

The Lorillard Tobacco Company commissioned construction of their original processing plant in 1946 at a construction cost of $400,000, which translates to almost $5.2 million today. In 1947 it was one of 10 tobacco processing plants in Lexington, remaining in operation as such until 2000, after which it sat vacant for a number of years. In 2006 the building was purchased and the residential renovations began; in 2008 the refits were almost complete, yet only a handful of spaces were sold by 2015, and once again the property was up for auction. Post-sale the first HOA was born, and now the 216,000 square foot Lorillard Lofts are home to both professional and residential spaces - comprised of 43 residential units, plus office space for Broken Fork Design, and a 25,000 square foot indoor parking garage. The recent deTour allowed participants to explore four loft units, the boiler room, and the office space for Broken Fork.


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