Jefferson & Jackson Building under demolition
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The three-story red brick vernacular building that lost its roof in Windstorm 2008 has now been reduced to a pile of rubble. We told you a month ago that the building was declared an emergency demolition candidate and it was only a matter of time, but this was the scene this afternoon. The rest will be coming down soon. It’s unfortunate to see this one go, especially since the area around NULU East Market Street and Liberty Green is rapidly being redeveloped.

And it didn’t appear to us, anyway, that the building was that far gone. There were a couple cracks in the west brick wall, and of course, a large portion of the roof was missing, but the building appeared solid. As we’ve said many times before, these austere brick and limestone vernacular buildings are some of our favorite historic structures. You can’t just save the monuments; the historic city fabric has its own unique qualities. They’re also useful urban buildings as they allow easy conversion into mixed-use developments. It’s over 100 years old, too. Probably older, but we couldn’t find an accurate age. Many structures like it date to the 1870s or 1880s.

The wooden timbers in the building are being salvaged along with some of the stone that made up the facade, but it’s a shame the entire building had to go to waste. Apparently the Metro Housing Authority had looked into purchasing the building and its adjacent vacant lot, but the price was too high. The building would have likely been demolished in the future anyway. Its location (along with quite a few other historic properties) will be torn down if that huge Spaghetti Junction gets built doubling the size of Interstate 65 through downtown. That billboard on the side of the building: it’s going to stay.

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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

4 COMMENTS

  1. would be great if some of that storefront cast iron is salvaged for reuse too.

    seems we love to celebrate these artifacts of our city history as long as they’re not in inconvenient locations. i guess nobody in this neighborhood is handing out magnets to tourists.

  2. The storefront of the building was actually made of stone and I believe some of it will be salvaged (they wouldn’t explain exactly what they were saving besides the timbers). At any rate, there’s already a lot of stone (and cast iron) pieces saved from demolished buildings laying around city and salvage yard storage areas that no one is incorporating into new construction.

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