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Four lofts open for downtown Wine Walk tours

Four lofts open for downtown Wine Walk tours

Four unique loft spaces will be open to visitors as part of the 11th annual Upstairs/Downtown Wine Walk and Tour on Friday, May 2.

Two lofts will be shown for the first time since their renovation, another is considered one of the premier lofts in Albany’s downtown, and the fourth gives visitors a taste of Albany history. The tour runs from 4 to 8 p.m.

The loft visits are free, and will be complimented by the wine walk sponsored by the Rotary Club of Albany. Walkers can visit the lofts and sample wine from 20 wineries. Tickets for the wine walk are $15 per person and are good for one glass of wine. The walkers also receive five scrip tickets that can be exchanged for tastes from any of the represented wineries.

Proceeds from the walk support the Rotary Club’s programs, which include an annual Christmas program, the third-grade dictionary project, bicycle safety, the SMART reading program, ABC House, CASA of Linn County, Albany Gleaners, the Veterans Day Parade and the Junior First Citizen of Albany award.

According to Debi Wahl of the Albany Downtown Association, the popular event, which is centered along First Avenue, is expected to again draw more than 1,000 people. Last year more than 1,300 took part in the loft tour and walk.

“I believe we could get more people than we had last year,” Wahl said. “The weather is supposed to cooperate, and that will help.”

Lofts featured on the 2014 tour include:

• Loft 44, at 422 First Ave. W. just above Emma Downtown, features more than 4000 square feet of living space created by owner John Boock. The loft originally was a newspaper office.

• The Pastime Saloon Building, 211 First Ave. W., Apt. 204, is located above Anthony’s Downtown. It’s the smallest loft on this year’s tour and is open for viewing for the first time since its completion in 2010. It is owned by Richard and Kathy May.

• Houston-Conn Building, located above Sweet Red Coffee & Wine Bistro on First Avenue, has an entrance through the alley at Ellsworth Street. At more than 2000 square feet, the space is open for the first time since owner Skip Throop renovated it in 2010. It is currently owned by Rod and Denise Bigner, owners of the Pix Theatre.

• The top floor of the Albany Regional Museum, 136 Lyon St. S., will give visitors a chance to see where the preservation of many of the museum’s historic pieces takes place.

IF YOU GO

What: 11th Annual Upstairs/Downtown Wine Walk & Tour.

Where: Downtown Albany

Tickets: $15. Advance tickets and tour maps are available at the Albany Visitors Association, 110 Third Ave. S.E. Numbered flags mark each loft on the tour. Tickets available during the event at the Brass Ring Carousel Project, 503 1st Ave W.

Information: Call the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469.

Steve Lathrop is the business reporter for the Albany Democrat-Herald. He can be reached at 541-812-6076 or by email at steve.lathrop@lee.net.

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