Here's the same building last year; House demolished
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West Market Likely Demolition
West Market Likely Demolition. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

West Market Street in the Russell neighborhood has some of the best architecture in town. It’s every bit as beautiful as its East Market counterpart, but has been neglected for decades and has begun losing buildings left and right. There have been some notable exceptions, though. The Ouerbacker House, once set for demolition by the city, has been thrown a life preserver.

Here's the same building last year; House demolished
Here’s the same property a year ago; House demolished. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

The Ouerbacker House will be undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and a small warehouse on Market has been colorfully renovated and is desperately seeking a tenant. You might remember when the east wall of the Ouerbacker House partially collapsed and the media flurry that eventually landed Studio Kremer the task of preserving it.

Other buildings haven’t been so lucky. A giant 3–5 story 19th century warehouse is currently being demolished and several others have been torn down in the past couple years. We spotted another grand yet simple 19th century commercial live-work building on West Market this week that may have a date with the wrecking ball if action isn’t taken soon.

The old Portland Bait and Tackle, most recently A1 Batteries and Tires, is haphazardly boarded up and suffering from a gaping hole in the side of the building. The battery and tire business apparently didn’t make it (there are still tires stored inside, though). The building is valued at $70,000 by the PVA. You can see a row house next door has been torn down in the last year. The house demolition is probably the cause of its neighbors wall problem. Below, you can see the black outline where the house used to be.

There’s no intent to demolish sign posted, but the building’s outlook doesn’t seem good. This building is only a block from the Auerbacker House, too. What could be a redevelopment target area immediately adjacent to downtown (this is a block between 16th & 17th streets, its not far from downtown) is instead withering away into just one giant grassy field. Hopefully this one won’t make the field that much bigger.

Damage to West Market Building
Damage to West Market Building. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)
Building Details
Building Details. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)
West Market Likely Demolition
West Market Likely Demolition. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)
Neighboring building torn down
Neighboring building torn down. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)
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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

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