Industrial Buildings (Limerick Side)
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Columbia Manufacturing Building
Columbia Manufacturing Building. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

What special ties are there between Columbus Day and the SoBro neighborhood you are asking? Absolutely none. We did find the abandoned Columbia Manufacturing warehouse sitting strong on the corner of Ninth Street and Breckinridge Street, though, and that was enough for us to put the two together. So here’s a look around the western edge of SoBro (and a little bit of Limerick, too), a neighborhood where nothing is really happening but where everything really should. Consider this our (slightly belated) Columbus Day special event.

Neighborhood Map
Neighborhood Map.

SoBro means South Of BROadway and, would you guess it… sits directly south of Broadway. This neighborhood represents one of Louisville’s first New York–style neighborhood names where initials indicate out the areas location, like SoHo, NoLita, TriBeCa, FiDi, or even DUMBO (In NYC, SoBro is South Bronx). Louisville’s SoBro contains a diverse array of architecture, from 19th century industrial warehouses, to turn of the century landmarks like the central library, to early 20th century commercial buildings in art-deco and art-nouveau to mid-century modern high rises like the 800 building, and new postmodern buildings like the SoHo Lofts or Presentation Academy’s Arts & Athletics Center.

The neighborhood boundaries are roughly as shown on the map below. Due to its location, it is perhaps one of Louisville’s most conveniently located urban neighborhoods and potentially could become one of its most vibrant. The neighborhood has an ongoing identity plan in place; there’s even supposed to be a SoBro Design Charrette sponsored by the Urban Design Studio on Third Street going on Thursday, October 16th. What could make this neighborhood really interesting as it grows is the extent to which it manages its urban character. Could this area become a less corporate and more neighborly version of downtown or will it succumb to the anti-urban forces lurking all around Louisville and become just another medium-density suburb? Time will tell.

We compiled a gallery of commercial and industrial buildings (many vacant) on the western edge of SoBro between 6th Street and 9th Street near the Columbia Manufacturing Building above to show just one side of the neighborhood’s potential.

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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

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi. I'm actually interested in purchasing an old home off breckenridge st (west) right in the middle of your map and create a small cafe/open mic/karaoke place with lofts above (3 story).

    do you think transformation will actually happen?

    -p

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