The old Tonini Church Supply Building on the corner of Shelby Street and Gray Street in the Phoenix Hill Neighborhood might become housing for the mentally ill. A partnership between the New Directions Housing Corporation and the Wellspring House may bring the plan to fruition. Plans call for a 12-unit project with financial help from the U. S. Housing and Urban Development. The total cost is estimated at around $2 million.
This three-story brick building once housed Tonini Church Supply and is notable for having two large trees growing from its facade (the brickwork needs some repair as a result). A handpainted sign reading Tonini Church Supply can still be seen on the back of the building. The structure was declared a Louisville Landmark in 2002 and was taken over by the Metro Housing Authority in 2006. The interior of the building is in questionable shape.
A local artist considered the building for a studio last year before relocating to another building in Phoenix Hill. The floors and roof will require structural work. Portions of the roof and chimneys also must be rebuilt as they have collapsed or are close to collapse (see pictures after the jump). The area around the Tonini building is full of potential, though. As the medical district pushes eastward and development from the Highlands pushes westward, and the East Village moves south through Liberty Green, this area stands to benefit.
- New Directions Housing Corporation (Official Site)
- Wellspring (Official Site)
- Old Tonini building could be apartments for mentally ill (C-J)
Holy smokes. I used to buy holy cards, etc., from Tonini when I went to school at St. Boniface, while living in Clarksdale. What memories. I hope the old buildings can be rehabbed and used for something useful.