Preservation Louisville is asking members and followers to take their concerns over the possible destruction of a strip of downtown buildings to the mayor’s public budget hearings.
The mayor’s office has agreed to let developer Todd Blue destroy the buildings at First and Main streets to make room for a parking lot and later a new development. The mayor has also agreed to set aside $450,000 in the new budget to help Blue preserve or recreate the facades.
Preservation groups have criticized the deal. They want it to go through the local landmarks commission, and hope the facades will be saved or that the buildings will be kept intact. Preservation Louisville director Marianne Zickuhr says she hopes like-minded Louisvillians will ask the mayor about the issue at the budget hearings.
“I’m hoping that in these open, community meetings, I feel like that would be the reason for having these types of meeting and I’m hoping we’ll get some productive resolution out of them,” she says. “I know there are others who are not, but I am extremely optimistic that we have a mayor who is open to hearing our views and definitely is going to allow us to express how we feel and what the facts are.”
The Metro Council could pull the $450,000 allocation out of the budget. The chair of the budget committee says the council has not been fully briefed on the issue, but adds that on the surface, it looks like a hard sell.
Blue and the city contend that the buildings are unsafe and cannot be preserved. For more on this story, see our previous coverage.