Metro Louisville took control of this property on the corner of 17th Street and Jefferson Street from a foreclosed tax business in 2005 and has been seeking redevelopment of the site. During the city’s stewardship, the property experienced decay and vandalism including two fires. Earlier this year, a portion of the east wall collapsed and the city was prepared to issue an emergency demolition order if no one could be found to renovate the property.
Scott Kremer of Studio Kremer Architecture was selected from a pool of interested parties to redevelop the house and purchased the property from the city for $1.00. Kremer plans to invest $2 million in the restoration of the property. Final use for the property has not yet been determined, but it likely will serve as a music school operated by KMG America in honor of Stephen “Static” Garrett, a notable hip-hop and R&B musician. Kremer received a $100,000 grant from Metro Government to stabilize the east wall and begin construction. The wall has not been rebuilt and awaits the next steps of redevelopment.
The Tudor Revival–style building nestled into the Medical District on East Broadway is actually two structures. The original Victorian mansion dates to the 1890s and was built by industrialist Henry Vogt. The two-story Tudor addition facing Broadway was built in the 1920s to house the Lemon English Silver Gallery. Norton Hospital had proposed demolition of the structure to make way for a one-story radiation center on one of Louisville’s grandest streets. After outcry from the neighborhood, the hospital compromised and has agreed to incorporate the Vogt Mansion into their new building.
Hub on Main Street Property
A three-story brick building on East Main Street near Floyd Street has been sold to Cobalt Ventures who has proposed a five-story luxury condominium structure on the site. The building had recently undergone renovation worth up to $1 million but now tenants have been removed and an “Intent to Demolish” warning has been posted and is gone after its 30 day notice period. Original plans for the development show the building remaining with new structures to each side. It is unclear what plans remain for the structure and demolition could arrive any day.
Developers propose to tear down the wooden structure dating to 1902 and build a strip mall in its place. After hearing neighborhood concerns, the group proposed rebuilding a new structure resembling the historic beer garden originally called Senning’s Park. In order to build a replica of the original Colonial Gardens on its original footprint, the developers would need special permission from the city as current anti-urban setback codes make the historic property illegal to build today. A petition has been submitted to declare the structure a Local Landmark making demolition much less likely. The landmark status is pending a hearing before the Louisville Metro Landmarks Commission. Of notable interest, Elvis is said to have performed at the location in 1956.
Bauer’s / Azalea’s Restaurant
Charles Bauer, the owner of a historic structure dating to 1868 on Brownsboro Road in Mockingbird Valley, proposed demolition and replacement of the longtime restaurant with a modern Rite-Aid drug store. A Local Landmark petition was submitted and the property was declared historic by the Louisville Metro Landmark Commission. The neighborhood outcry was strong, including local notable Rick Pitino who lives nearby. The structure has operated as a blacksmith shop, general store, wagon shop, and most recently as a restaurant.Â Bauer has hinted before that he may challenge any historic designation in court.
Wayside Mission Properties
The Wayside Christian Mission proposed earlier this year an addition to their campus in the East Village on East Market Street that included demolition of three structures dating to the Civil War sparking Louisville’s first gentrification war. Drawing concern from the neighborhood, the charity agreed to rebuild likenesses of the original facades using some original stones from the buildings. The neighborhood submitted a Local Landmark petition to stop demolition but days before the wrecking ball was scheduled to arrive, a group of local businessmen agreed to purchase the entire East Market Street campus from Wayside for $5 million. The group, headed by Gill Holland of Gallery NuLu, plans to turn the complex of 10 buildings into a creative hub for the area.
Water Company Block Properties
Four structures of varying historic quality sit on the block of the proposed City Center development proposed by the Cordish Company, developers of 4th Street Live.Â The company has not decided formally which buildings may or may not be saved, but with the desperation for downtown development evident in the Abramson administration, anything Cordish says will likely go.Â Time will tell with these properties.