Protesters Gather On Whiskey Row

by Gabe Bullard on February 10, 2011

More than a dozen activists gathered at First and Main streets in downtown Louisville this morning.

They were 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. Blue can also use the site as a parking lot for five years prior to building

The city has agreed to try to save the facades or preserve their appearance, but preservationists say that isn’t enough, and they take issue with the secrecy they say surrounded the bargain.

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 that’s not realistic.

“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. They also scoff at Blue’s asking price for the buildings–$1.5 million each.

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Curtis Morrison February 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Roundup: 1) This rally was organized with 48 hours notice and it was 10 degrees outside at 7 AM. I was impressed not only with the number of people that showed up, but the diversity of the participants.
Most of us didn’t even know each other until the rally. That’s the first time I’ve had the pleasure to meet Edie Bingham, even.
2) This rally wasn’t organized to protest the $450,000 gift, as it’s so ridiculous it has very little chance of being approved by our Metro Council anyway. The people that showed up for the most part are outraged that we could loose 7 buildings & 150 years of history with the signature of a mayor that’s not even consulted the preservation community.
We’re optimistic that future rallies will be held on warmer days, allowing more folks to come out.

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