Preservationists Planning Protest At Whiskey Row

by Gabe Bullard on February 9, 2011

Preservationists are planning to demonstrate outside of a strip of buildings at First and Main streets in Louisville Thursday morning.

They’re protesting an agreement between Metro Government and developer Todd Blue which will allow Blue to destroy the buildings in three months to make room for a new development.

The city has agreed to try to save the facades or recreate their appearance, but preservationists say that isn’t enough. They also say the mayor’s office didn’t do enough to gauge publicĀ opinionĀ before striking a deal with Blue.

. Blue, who owns the buildings, questions why preservation groups didn’t do more to save the buildings before he bought them. Further, he says if they want to save the strip, they can buy it from him. Martina Kunnecke with the group Neighborhoods, Planning and Preservation says Blue is charging more for the buildings than he paid, and raising awareness of preservation issues can be difficult.

“We’re at a disadvantage because we’re generally not funded very well. There’s only so much we can do. We can yelp and scream, but it’s not until something major like this happens that the public will step forward and take notice of what’s going on,” she says.

Kunnecke says she and other preservationists are trying to figure out ways to block the demolition.

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