Preservationists Allowed to Join Whiskey Row Case

by admin on April 8, 2011

A group of preservationists and a local property owner have been added to a federal lawsuit between Louisville Metro Government and businessman Todd Blue concerning the Whiskey Row buildings along Main Street.

U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn signed an order Friday that allows DKH Properties, a neighboring business, and four non-profit organizations to intervene in the suit as defendants. The judgement says their “views could be helpful in reaching any decisions” as the “controversy simmers over the fate of seven West Main Street” buildings.

Attorney Stephen Porter says preservationists are pleased to have a seat at the table.

“It show the courts believe we do have an interest in this case and the dispute. It gives us an inside tract to any information that might occur in the case. And it gives us the power to make motions in the case and to ask the judge to rule in ways we might see fit,” he says.

In February, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the city and Blue had reached an agreement that allows the local businessman to demolish a row of seven 19th-century in order to construct the Iron Quarter, an ambitious development project. For weeks, preservationists had petitioned the mayor’s office, seeking to guarantee that the buildings or their facades would be saved.

Under the terms of the deal, however, Blue could use Whiskey Row as a surface parking lot for up to five years before any new development takes place.

Porter says the faction hasn’t decided if they’ll move to dismiss the agreement, deny the emergency demolition order or arrange for an engineer to determine the condition of the structures.

The city is seeking buyers for the property who would keep five of the seven buildings standing.

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