Baer Fabrics Building
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The Baer Fabrics building on Market Street adjacent to Interstate 65 faces an uncertain and gloomy future. The Baer Fabrics Company closed its doors last month after failing to repay loans to Fifth Third Bank. The business had been in operation for 103 years selling standard and specialty fabrics and sewing goods.

Widening Interstate 65
Widening Interstate 65.

Owner Stuart Goldberg still owns the brick three-story building but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has previously said they want the property to widen Interstate 65 as it enters the proposed redesign of Spaghetti Junction. The span of Interstate 65 crossing Market Street is 8 lanes with narrow shoulders. The new stretch is nearly twice as wide with 12 and expanded shoulders. As a result, more than half the block will be covered by a new highway bridge and the Baer Fabrics building with its signature blue awnings will be reduced to a pile of rubble, effectively destroying yet another important block of real estate in downtown Louisville.

These maps come directly from the Ohio River Bridges Project and are generally to scale. Blue indicates bridges, revealing the width of the highway shoulders and the remaining colors indicate Interstate traffic lanes. Note how much land is required to expand Interstate 65 and imagine the impacts on development of adjacent land this mega-highway will have. Then imagine walking under 300 feet of noisy, dirty, smelly, and dark highway bridges on each block and hum to yourself, “Only in Possibility City!”

Widening Interstate 65
Widening Interstate 65.
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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

1 COMMENT

  1. What can we do to prevent this from happening? We know the “mayor for life” will do nothing, it might ruffle the elegant feathers of Riverfields.

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