One of the houses that may be demolished
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What's This?

The Phoenix Hill Tavern is looking to expand its parking options and two houses stand in its way. The two vacant houses could provide 30 to 50 additional parking spaces. You can see on the diagram below the surface level parking that already exists on the block (not all of it belongs to the Phoenix Hill Tavern). It’s a pretty substantial amount of parking. The pointers indicate the two houses under consideration for demolition.

According to the Courier-Journal, however, the Tavern is “seeking the blessing of the neighborhood” before it moves to raze the houses. The houses sit in the Phoenix Hill National Historic District but are in poor condition. You can see in the above photo, one of the houses is over-run with vines. Underneath the vines, however, wooden detailing can be seen on the portion of the house not covered by aluminum siding. The other house that may get the axe is in slightly better shape and is a camel-back shotgun house.

Current parking space on the block
Current parking space on the block. (Broken Sidewalk / Via Lojic)

There is already a parking lot separating the two houses where a couple houses had previously stood. Portions of the parking area sit between houses on Rogers Street and Broadway. The Tavern owner also owns other property along East Broadway and the neighborhood association worries additional houses may come down in the future.

With nearly half the block already under asphalt, it seems unfortunate that additional houses might come down to be replaced by more cars only using the lot during certain evening hours. The rest of the day the spots remain mostly vacant as the Tavern has posted “Customer Parking Only” signs. The neighborhood association met yesterday, so we’ll see if they decide to formally oppose the demolitions.

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

4 COMMENTS

  1. i wonder if a deal could be made with pht in which they’re allowed to take down these houses but, in return, are required to construct something to re-build the edge along their long parking frontage on broadway – to sort of re-establish that edge.

    i’m never a fan of a demo, but the house in the middle of the lot is already pretty compromised. if a sidewalk/street-friendly solution can be negotiated while still giving pht what they want, well…maybe?

  2. I agree with archintent. I am all for preservation. And I am not a fan of the look and scale of most new construction), but PHT is in a vibrant part of town and simply needs to reach out to the community a little more. They could propose that a local artist design some sort of barrier there, that PHT would pay for. They could host one outdoor event a year in the parking lot with proceeds going to the neighborhood association. They could put money together to help another local business get going and rehab one of their other properties.

  3. A compromise is most likely the best we can hope to come out of this. Sidewalk improvements along Broadway (and Baxter, too) are a minimum improvement the PHT could make. They especially need to rebuild the stone wall on Broadway so it’s not so glaringly obvious houses were torn down there (see the steps to nowhere above).

    Perhaps a facade improvements to the PHT or its adjacent building currently for lease could also affordably compromised. As was already suggested, improvements along Broadway/Rogers, where the parking lots intrude onto the streetscape, incorporating more than a blank fence could help.

    One other possible compromise would be to chop off the back yard of each house for parking and try to restore the houses for commercial use. Parking for the businesses during the day could be handled at the PHT lot. If you look at the map, it appears more than half of the parking additions could be achieved without demolishing the properties at all.

  4. All very good ideas… just takes a little out-of-the box thinking to make everyone happy. Can you forward your “Demo Watch” article to PHT and/or Kinloch?

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