D & W Silks building under demolition on East Main Street
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We have been carefully watching for an “Intent to Demolish” sign to be posted on the D & W Silks building on East Main Street across from Slugger Field ever since the silk flower business moved to an undisclosed location Downtown in 2008. Such a banner would foretell the next signs of movement on the proposed twin towers that will one day occupy the site.

Demolition site at D&W Silks and Riney Bedding (map via Lojic)
Demolition site at D&W Silks and Riney Bedding. (via Lojic)

As it turns out, we never spotted a sign and demolition is already underway on the old D & W Silks building and eventually the Riney Bedding building at 431 East Market Street. Thanks to two of our tipsters who first told us about the demolition last week and sent in the above photo.

Jefferson Development Group announced plans for a $150 million, 626,000 square foot office tower on top of retail and a parking garage in 2007. The twin towers were planned at 12-stories directly across from Slugger Field. Above 11,000 square feet of retail and nearly 1,500 parking spots, a plaza overlooking the stadium would transition to the towers.

Riney Bedding on East Market Street
Riney Bedding on East Market Street. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

We spoke with Jefferson Development Group many months ago, and at the time they were confident the project would move forward in some form or another. The project, like most real-estate development, was following the changing market conditions. Calls weren’t returned by the time of publishing, so we don’t have the specifics on where the project stands today, but we’ll have a full write up on the twin towers project when more information is available.

Riney Bedding on East Market Street (circa 1980 via NRHP / NPS)
Riney Bedding on East Market Street circa 1980. (via NRHP / NPS)

From the photo above, it’s clear that the eastern-most one-story portion of the structure on Main Street is well under demolition, and it appears interior demo is going on in the larger three-story space. Also slated for demolition is a row-building on Market Street once home to Riney Bedding Company. The building was originally three stories, but sometime since 1980, it appears to have lost its top floor, cornice, and window detailing. The brick structure with (what looks like) a cast-iron storefront will become a driveway into the parking garage.

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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

7 COMMENTS

  1. A thought on the Riney building. It is considerably shorter in the present picture that the older one. The upper parts of the windows, including the lintels, are gone, as it the decorative cornice at the roof. You see this spot anytime you pull out of the East Market Street McDonald’s, something I do pretty often as a Butchertown resident.

    I remember a fire in that vicinity a few years back but I do not remember if it was the buildings to the east, marked with a United sign in the picture, or to the west, where there remains some freestanding iron structures originally a part of the Kramer building.

    Anyone know?

  2. To paraphrase Will Morgan, ‘demolition of old buildings isn’t necessarily a bad thing – as long as what replaces it is at least as good or better’

    That (like most instances in Louisville) will not be the case with this new building. Isn’t Tucker Booker Donhoff the architects for this proposed building? If so, this may be uglier than their LGE building.

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