Republic Plaza
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The conversion of the Legal Arts Building into the Republic Plaza took another step recently with the addition of a giant crowning sign that is being installed over middle bay of the building. Another sign is in the works directly over the front door. That leaves those long vertical light fixtures shown in the rendering as the only missing exterior element yet to be installed. Oh, and they installed window blinds inside the offices, much to the comfort of the workers inside.

Republic Plaza
Republic Plaza.

The addition of the top signage appears clunky. It has from the beginning. As we’ve lamented, this low-budget renovation has taken an ugly building and given it a fresh coat of ugly. While it has swapped its peeling white paint for the burgundy and beige we see today, a coat of paint and new windows aren’t enough to take this building to the level it needs to be. At least there is investment to bring the building slightly more up to date.

One sign of good news, though; the statue once sitting outside the main entrance, and rumored to be permanently removed from the site, may be returning. Earlier reports indicated the statue was destined for the Louisville Zoo, with a few ‘alterations’ to the nude bodies to make it kid friendly. It turns out the renderings have shown the statue relocated to the side of the main entrance the entire time, so hopefully this work of art will return unchanged.

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Branden Klayko

7 COMMENTS

  1. That's good news on the statue. If only similar sense would prevail on the grotesque paint scheme.

  2. Would be inclined to agree, but this rendering (towards the bottom) was printed several times in B-First as an ad which set expectations higher than some new paint. Building re-use is great and this one is a solid structure, but it could have provided a little more modern interest instead of tacking on a 'traditional' crown at the top.

  3. it’s such a huge improvment, it’s hard to knock it. it’s ok that it will remain a background/fabric building and not stand out.

    the fact that they’re making such a nice investment in an existing building is encouraging. given how much embodied energy this concrete box represents, this is a good example of recycling!

  4. The statue is Floating Nudes by Barney Bright. Although noted for that garish clock of his, he was a superb sculptor — and far better than Ed Hamilton in my opinion.

    I hope the statute isn't defaced if it is indeed moved.

  5. The statue was donated to UofL, who are apparently creating a pavilion into which it’ll be installed.

  6. UPDATE ON THE FLOATING NUDES: They are being cleaned and stored at the Bright studio. A new plaza to be constructed on the U of L campus will feature the restored floating bronzes.

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