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Preservation Louisville Encourages Followers To Attend City Budget Hearings

Whiskey Row/Iron Quarter (photo by Sheila Ash)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.

Local News

Belle Of Louisville Receives $10,000 Donation

BelleThe Hampton Hotels chain has donated money and a labor force to make improvements to the Belle of Louisville.

Hampton’s Save-A-Landmark crew accepts online nominations for landmarks to restore, and the group chose the Belle for a ten thousand dollar grant. Volunteers from area hotels helped put the money to use this week, touching up the interior of the boat and replacing 20-year-old ceiling fans.

“These are projects that needed to be done years ago because of short funding. We now have the chance to beautify the interior of the boat. Money might not become available for several more years,” says Portmaster Mark Douty. “It’s the little things—the changing of the light fixtures, the ceiling fans, helping us paint when we’re short on crew members this time of year. It’s the little things that bring the beauty out in the boat that will help.”

The Save-A-Landmark crew had another project in Kentucky earlier this year, helping restore Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home in LaRue County.