Preservationists Cheer Delay of Whiskey Row Demolition

by Gabe Bullard on May 5, 2011

Preservationists have won a small victory in the fight to save the Whiskey Row buildings in downtown Louisville.

Under an agreement between the buildings’ owner, Todd Blue, and Metro Government, the strip could’ve been razed as early as Monday. But that’s been blocked so a judge can hear arguments on Wednesday over whether to push the demolition back another two months.

Preservationist attorney Steve Porter says he’d like that to happen, but when the judge set the hearing date, he also gave the preservationists the ability to keep fighting the demolition, even if the delay is denied.

“We will get at least seven days advanced notice before a demolition order is issued and we would have at least seven days after the issuance of the order before anything would actually happen,” he says.

The advance notice would give Porter the ability to appeal the demolition order.

“That would be first to the Board of Code Enforcement, who is the appeal board for emergency demolition orders and then if we don’t like what they say, or if they refuse to hear us or something, then we can go to Jefferson Circuit Court,” he says.

Porter says long enough delays could give an outside party enough time to purchase the strip from Blue. The city is currently seeking investors who will buy the buildings and save them.¬†Mayor’s spokesperson Chris Poynter¬†says there are several interested parties.

“As always, we’ve been going on two routes: one route with Todd Blue for the demolition of the buildings and the other route with the potential buyer. Unfortunately, at this point, we haven’t made any movement toward a resolution,” he says.

Poynter adds that the mayor’s office has no objections to the advance notice. Blue did not return a request for comment.

Preservationists will also be issued a copy of a report that examines whether the buildings are structurally sound.

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