With a background in architecture, which led him all over the world, Jason Delambre has come back to Frankfort to help revamp his hometown.
“Frankfort is nice town to grow up in,” he said. “It’s very safe.
“I left for 12 years and traveled all over the world and moved back.”
Delambre graduated from Frankfort High School in 1996. Right after, he enrolled at the University of Kentucky and started working toward an architecture degree.
During college, he took some time out to travel the world.
“I lived in New York, Boston, Beijing, Paris, Czech Republic, Oregon, New Mexico,” Delambre said.
In 2005, he graduated from UK with his bachelor’s degree, then, went on to receive a master’s degree in energy and sustainability planning from the University of Cincinnati.
Delamere based his career on his work in energy and sustainability. When he lived in China with his wife, Amelia Berry, he worked on carbon development projects. In Boston, he managed carbon foot printing for the Democrat Political Convention for former president Barack Obama’s campaign.
“That was a big project,” he said. “That’s where I cut my teeth on energy planning.”
In 2009, after finding out they were expecting their first child, daughter Rosie, they decided to move back to Frankfort. Rosie is now 8 years old. They also have a son, Julian, 5.
Delambre has started a number of different companies since living in Frankfort. One of his companies develops carbon planning for universities and college. Another one develops energy efficiency plans for businesses. His most recent venture is Sig Luscher Brewery located at 221 Mero St.
FRANK.: When did you start to get interested in architecture?
Delambre: At FHS, they had an internship and I worked at HMB Professional Engineers, an architecture and engineering firm. I learned it and fell in love with it.
The History Center was my first project. I worked on the garbage can out front and the stairwell on the inside.
The one I really cut my teeth on was the new addition to First Christian Church on Ann Street. I got to work on the stairs and help the architect work on the design. That was a great experience.
FRANK.: Why do you think the work you do in energy sustainability is important?
Delambre: I think sustainability sometimes gets a bad name. The business world works in dollars. If I can help save a thousand trees and make people understand how it saves money, I’ve done my job.
I’m good at bridging the sustainability concept to business concepts. The green they care about is saving money.
Working with small businesses, like small grocery stores, I’ve helped them save on utilities and that money goes straight to the businesses. I feel like I’m helping communities.
If I can save energy, I can save money. It’s good to help people understand how to incorporate those concepts.
FRANK.: What all are you involved with in Frankfort?
Delambre: I’ve taken everything I’ve learned and I’ve put it all into Frankfort. I’ve worked on a lot of fronts.
This year was the second year for Bourbonanza. We had a phenomenal team and I was helping lead that charge with Downtown Frankfort Inc.
I’m one of the owners of the new Sig Luscher Brewery. That’s exciting. I’m helping Urban Ninja get started.
I just take my entrepreneur spirit and help them see opportunities and help them put it together. I’m helping with the Capital River Connection. Nathan Depenbrock is the president of that. They’re doing a lot of fun events.
I’m the secretary of the Frankfort Bourbon Society. The society started in May last year, and we officially kicked off last August. We’ve reached the cap of 250 members two months ago.
We’re in the middle of the bourbon cradle. We’re at the heart of bourbon tourism. We are helping Frankfort pivot from serving the state, to serving the people that visit Frankfort.
FRANK.: What are your hopes for the future of Frankfort?
Delambre: I think a big tide of change is coming to Frankfort. I think Frankfort could be a mini Asheville, N.C., or Boulder, Colo. A few more bars and restaurants would send people flocking here.
That’s where I get real excited about the future. The Sig Luscher Brewery is me putting my money where my mouth is.
There’s about 18,000 people who commute to Frankfort everyday. Of those people, why don’t those people live here? They’re commuting from places that have the things they want. If we have those things, then they’ll come here. If we start making things for tourists, then those people will want to stay here.
I’m very excited about the opportunities.
FRANK.: What is your view of Frankfort now compared to when you were a kid?
Delambre: As a kid, you’re in with your friends. It was a classic, small town childhood and it was great. As an adult, you have more resources.
As a kid, I never knew about Elkhorn Creek. Fort Hill is one of the most under utilized resources in Kentucky. What community wouldn’t want green space in the middle of town? I hope, with new development, we use it as a resource — have zip lines, bike trails.
Cove Spring Park is one of the nicest parks in the state. Capital View Park has one of best mountain bike trails in the state. The more we can capitalize on these parks and bring people to Frankfort — that’s our economic future.
FRANK.: What are your hopes for your children’s future?
Delambre: I want them to be able to have a similar childhood I had in Frankfort. I want them to have close-knit friends. But, I want them to travel. Rosie has been to New York. She’s going to Paris. We want them to see things, but have a close-knit community at the same time. You have to have a global perspective.
I had no concept of that growing up. I feel the Frankfort Independent Schools system is starting to learn that. Any student who wants to study abroad or do an exchange program, should do it.
FRANK.: What do you think of the architecture in Frankfort?
Delambre: I love the Transportation building, I think it’s a good balance of modern aesthetics. The Capitol is a gorgeous, neo classic design. There’s a lot of southern influence architecture.