Tax Credit Program Highlight: Whiskey Warehouse

Columbus, Colorado County



Listed in National Register as part of Colorado County Courthouse Historic District

Historic Use

Storage outbuilding

Current Use

Ceramics teaching studio

Total Rehabilitation Cost


Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses


Date Certified

July 26, 2016


Certified for state tax credits only.


German immigrant Charles Brunson settled in Columbus in 1867 and opened a liquor business. In 1891, Brunson built a two-story building on the Colorado County courthouse square to house a saloon and dance hall (known as the Brunson Building). This small, one-story masonry outbuilding sits behind the Brunson Building and is believed to have been built the same year for use as storage for liquor and other items for the saloon. The warehouse is one of the few remaining outbuildings that still stand from these early days of Columbus.

Rehabilitation Project

The Brunson Building and its warehouse outbuilding are now the home of the Live Oak Art Center, a non-profit organization offering art exhibits and education to the local population. The so-called whiskey warehouse had been used for storage, and at the outset of this project was suffering from structural issues and significant water infiltration as a result of deferred maintenance. Although this tiny building is quite humble, the owners gave it special treatment in its rehabilitation. The crumbling brick walls were cleaned, repaired, and repointed with appropriate lime mortar; the sagging roof trusses were hoisted up and reinforced where necessary; and the building was spruced up by relocating a collection of electrical meters and conduit to the rear. Few changes were made on the interior, where the simple, unfinished space makes a suitable home for a ceramics studio, kiln and small restroom.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The former backyard storage building is now a functional part of the art center complex, providing a restroom and a ceramics space.