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Final Steel Beam Placed in Transformation of Historic Building to Be Home of Law Firm

The final steel beam was placed in the transformation and expansion of an historic downtown Covington building set to become the new home of DBL Law.

The firm celebrated the occasion on Monday as the $11.3 million refurbishment of the Monarch Building takes shape.

The installation of the beam - which has been signed by construction workers, DBL law employees and local government, business, civic and philanthropic leaders - was celebrated Monday afternoon during a brief ceremony presided over by DBL Law Managing Partner Bob Hoffer. 

DBL Law expects to move into the new headquarters by this fall. 

"Today we celebrate a milestone in the development of DBL Law's headquarters in downtown Covington," Hoffer said. "Standing here today, it is amazing to see how far this project has come and how close we really are to coming home to Covington." 

The firm - now based in Crestview Hills - was founded more than 60 years ago by Judge Bill Dunn and Judge Jim Dressman Jr. in a basement office at the corner of 4th and Garrard streets in Covington. Today, it is Northern Kentucky's largest law firm.   

Covington Developer Allen Haehnle is partnering with Albert Fedders of Fedders Construction and Construction Manager Chris Thurston on the renovation of the Monarch Building into 34,000-square-feet of class A office space for the new headquarters building. 

"The DBL Law Monarch Building headquarters will be a tremendous and lasting addition to the Covington skyline," Fedders said. "It will serve as the new home of DBL Law but will stand for generations and be here long after we are gone." 

Known as a "topping out", the signing and installation of the final beam usually at building's highest point is a long-time tradition of the Ironworkers union signifying that a project is nearing completion and exemplifying the pride workers have in the building. The beam also includes a small evergreen tree and an American flag. 

The placement of the tree on the beam can be traced back nearly 1,000 years to a Scandinavian tradition of using branches and evergreens to celebrate the completion of a building. Immigrants brought the tradition to the United States. Ironworkers adopted the tradition, adding an American flag around 1920 as larger buildings and skyscrapers were built across the United States.   

"The installation of the last beam is a great tradition in the construction industry," Haehnle said. "It also shows that we are making tremendous progress on a project that includes not only the restoration of one of Northern Kentucky's finest and most historic buildings, but the construction of an addition that will allow DBL Law to continue to grow for generations to come." 

The four-story headquarters building is being designed by PCA Architecture and will provide room for future growth with a combination of unique and historic spaces that will help the firm recruit and retain talented employees. 

The renovated building will include: 

  • The addition of two floors, both of which will feature balconies facing the Ohio River. 
  • An unobstructed view of the iconic Suspension Bridge into downtown Cincinnati. 
  • Construction of a new building just to the west of the existing building. 
  • An atrium-like area that will provide an abundance of natural light. 
  • Approximately 30 on-premises parking spots. 

-Staff report

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