by Sheila Ash
Louisville Metro Government and developer Todd Blue have reached an agreement over the future of several historic but dilapidated buildings along east Main Street.
Blue was seeking to destroy the buildings at First and Main to make room for a hotel and restaurant development called the Iron Quarter. Metro Government officials wanted to preserve at least part of the buildings.
On Monday, Blue agreed to drop his lawsuit against the city over the matter in exchange for help preserving the facades. Mayor’s spokesperson Chris Poynter says the County Attorney’s office recommended the settlement as the best chance to save any part of the buildings.
“We were very concerned that the judge was going to allow Mr. Blue to demolish the buildings without any potential efforts to save the facades so we felt it was very important to reach this compromise and hopefully save these facades for future generations,” says Poynter.
According to the agreement, Blue has permission to demolish the buildings in 90 days. During that time, Blue and city officials will research the best method of either preserving the existing facades or building replicas of them.
Mayor Fischer will ask the Metro Council to approve $450 thousand in the upcoming budget to pay for the project.
Members of Preservation Louisville are reviewing the agreement and will likely release a statement Tuesday. The group supports saving the buildings in their entirety, not just the facades