Preservationists Seek Change in Whiskey Row Case

by Gabe Bullard on March 11, 2011

A group of preservationists and a local property owner are hoping to intervene in the federal court case concerning the Whiskey Row buildings at First and Main streets.

The faction filed paperwork Friday asking Judge John Heyburn II to let them onto the case, which is now between Metro Government and the buildings’ owner Todd Blue Todd Blue. Heyburn has approved an agreement that ends the case. It allows Blue to destroy the buildings and provides help from the city preserving or recreating the facades.

Preservationists have sought a guarantee that the buildings or the facades will be saved. Attorney Steve Porter says Friday’s filing only seeks to overturn the agreement, and not force preservation.

“What we’re trying to do is say that the buildings need to be put in front of the Landmarks Commission and let the Landmarks Commission, with a proposal from somebody—whether that’s the current owner or a new owner—and see what that proposal is, and then make a decision on it,” he says.

The federal court ruling trumps the local Landmarks Commission. Porter told WFPL earlier this week that he thinks Heyburn will heed their request. The city is also seeking buyers for the property who would keep five of the seven building standing.

Additional reporting by Dalton Main

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