Renaissance in Minden, Nevada
A Renaissance in Minden, Nevada
The town of Minden is passionate about maintaining its history and unique character while also being forward thinking. At the heart of the community’s rebirth is a pair of historic buildings that stand as a testament to past and present: Farmers Bank Building and the Minden Flour Mill & Creamery.
These flagship structures, owned by Bently Enterprises, LLC., have been reconstructed by general contractor Miles Construction of Carson City, known for their expertise in sustainable construction and historic preservation projects. Bently and Miles are committed to environmentalism and to breathing new life into Minden’s iconic buildings in a way that has a meaningful impact on the community.
“I see no sense in building new structures when we have beautiful historic properties that showcase our community in such a unique way,” Christopher Bently, owner of Bently Enterprises, said. “We need a sense of tradition and worth brought back to our culture. A disposable world just won’t do.”
The Farmers Bank and the recently opened Bently Heritage property create an economic draw to the community – a community forged in agriculture and history.
Farmer’s Bank Building: Nevada’s First LEED® Platinum Project
Miles Construction completed an extensive remodel of the Farmer’s Bank Building in 2014. The original building is an unreinforced masonry structure that was constructed in the early 1900s. A significant structural upgrade, including the addition of a mezzanine level, was accomplished while retaining the original exterior masonry walls and the gold leaf ceiling over the bank lobby. Today the Farmers Bank building is home to Bently Enterprises’ Nevada team.
“The Miles team is honored to have been part of this once-in-a-lifetime project,” said Cary Richardson, vice president of Miles Construction. “It’s gratifying to have the opportunity to leave our fingerprints on a prominent structure that’s been there for more than 100 years and will still be there in 100 more.”
The remodel and historic preservation effort is the first construction project in the state to be awarded LEED® Platinum, according to Richardson. The LEED certification recognizes the project’s use of practical and sustainable construction techniques in site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
“It’s quite extraordinary for a structure built in 1918 to have reached the highest standards of modern energy efficiency and environmental standards for its occupants,” Richardson said.
On its completion, Miles’ work as general contractor for the Farmers Bank Building was recognized as Bently received the USGBC Nevada Chapter 2015 LEED Project of the Year and the AIA Nevada 2015 Merit Award in the Built category.
Bently Heritage Estate Distillery
To take a 100-year-old structure, change it into an advanced manufacturing operation, and restore it to modern LEED certified standards is a very tall order. It’s something that’s never been achieved before, not to mention in a building that sits on the National Register of Historic Places. But it happened in Minden.
The original Minden Flour Mill & Creamery buildings re-opened as parts of the Bently Heritage Estate Distillery operation in February 2019.
“Bently Heritage is emblematic of everything I believe in: a first-class, hand-crafted product that preserves local history and tradition while implementing modern sustainable practices,” Christopher Bently said.
The renovation process was challenging and required expertise in construction, historic preservation and manufacturing. “We worked to achieve a best-in-class outcome using the highest quality materials, equipment, processes and installation techniques” Richardson recalls.
“In addition, we had to create a visual experience that would add to the appeal of the distillery’s product and the tasting experience for customers,” Richardson said. “The design of the structures and the routing of the mechanical systems was done in a way that delivers a powerful visual impact in concert with the building’s other elements.”
The outcome is a fully-restored historic landmark that is also an advanced manufacturing facility. Bently Heritage is producing premium distilled spirits crafted from locally-sourced grain for a true estate distillery moniker and a visitor experience that is unlike anything else in the West.