Just days after declaring that Nulu has officially “landed,” there’s another sign that the neighborhood east of Downtown is poised to grow. Joe Ley Antiques at 615 East Market Street isn’t going anywhere, but Joe Ley is considering the future of his three building antique complex. Â He explains, “With all of the changes being planned for East Market Street, it is time for me to develop a plan to enhance my buildings.”
Ley has hired Village Solutions to develop a long term strategic plan for the property. Rick Hill, president of Village Solutions, said the future of the site is wide open and the brainstorming process is just beginning. Ley asked him to take a look at the existing property and figure out what is possible for the site.
Hill, whose company created the strategic plan for the Service Welding block including Creation Gardens directly east, says connectivity will be emphasized. Like the concept plan at both the Creation Gardens site and at Gill Holland’s planned farmers’ market on Jefferson Street, reuse of the alleyways is strongly considered. Hill said Billy Goat Strut could provide a great pedestrian texture to the area and activate an otherwise underutilized space.
Whatever plan is developed will retain the historical significance of the site dating to 1890. According to JCPS, the main Joe Ley building was originally built as the Louisville Normal School which later relocated to East Broadway. The building remained an elementary school called the Hiram Roberts School after a former principal at the Normal School. After officially closing in 1966, the facility continued as a school for overflow students and was sold in 1972 to the Koch Glass Company.
Before Joe Ley acquired the building, the windows and even the front door had been boarded up and covered with stucco. As one of the first presences on East Market Street, Joe Ley Antiques will continue to be a neighborhood anchor and a regional draw for some of the most interesting antiques and architectural details around.
- Joe Ley Antiques (Official Site)
- Village Solutions (Official Site)
- Creation Gardens Plans East Market Expansion (Broken Sidewalk)
- Urban Wonders: Canyon Vistas On Louisville’s Alleys (Broken Sidewalk)