Tree Growing on West Main Street
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Louisville is seeing a resurgence of green architecture that no one planned for…. and no one really wants. A tipster has pointed out the tree above growing on the side of a building on the corner of West Main Street and Sixth Street. It seems a seed has found its way onto the ledge that once supported the floor of its long-gone neighbor. The tree is small now, but left unchecked, the roots will work their way into the wall’s mortar and weaken the structure.

There is no real way to safeguard from a tree sprouting in the side of your building; nature will find a way (usually via the birds). Keeping the brick mortar in good condition and general building maintenance should keep our city safe.

There is no shortage of trees growing from buildings here in Louisville. We dug through our archives and found some photos of trees past and present that are growing from buildings, mostly abandoned. The three examples after the click are all slated for redevelopment, and you might have even heard of a few of them: the Iron Quarter and Museum Plaza (this tree was removed when the Main Street building’s guts were razed).

Our favorite, however, is on a grand building on the corner of Gray Street and Shelby Street in Phoenix Hill. The building is scheduled to undergo renovation at a cost of $2 million by the New Directions Housing Corporation to turn the heavily damaged building into a 12 unit home for the mentally handicapped.

We know you’ve seen them attacking buildings in your neighborhood… through the windows, walls, gutters, roofs… they won’t stop at anything. Where have you seen trees growing from buildings around Louisville and what’s the damage report?

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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. Great pics. Post more. I laughed out loud when I looked at the pic of the trees growing in the gutters of the bldg next to Tonini's.

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