Buffalo Trace Distillery Gets Landmark Designation

Jun 24, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The National Park Service has designated Buffalo Trace's George T. Stagg Distillery a National Historic Landmark.

Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Credit photo provided

The designation highlights it as a "highly intact" example of pre-Prohibition industrial architecture that also shows how distilling expanded once the federal ban was repealed in the early 1930s. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported buildings are in active use and feature quarry-faced stonework and decorative brickwork in a 1930s-era factory.

Other barrel warehouses and buildings are much older, dating to the 1790s.

The National Park Service says the distillery was established in 1857-58 and acquired in 1870 by E.H. Taylor Jr., whose portrait hangs in the yeast room.

Taylor refurbished the distillery, building brick warehouses including Warehouse C, across from the current Buffalo Trace gift shop.

Buffalo Trace is the third distillery named a National Historic Landmark, along with Labrot & Graham's Old Oscar Pepper Distillery near Versailles, where Woodford Reserve is made, and the Burks' Distillery, owned by Maker's Mark, in Loretto.

The site also includes what is known as the George Dickel building along the Kentucky River, where a Tennessee whiskey called George Dickel was made after Prohibition in the 1940s until Tennessee finally was allowed to make alcohol again.

Very little new construction has been done since 1953, with the exception of removing railroad tracks, demolishing the original offices, and building spirits storage tanks for the booming bourbon business

Kentucky has more than 30 landmarks on the list, including Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate and Keeneland Race Course in Lexington and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg.