Tonini Building Under Renovation
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Work on the Tonini Church Supply building on the corner of Shelby Street and Gray Street has finally begun. We’ve been waiting to see some progress on this one for a while since the project was announced last year. This building, believed to date from the 1890s, is one of our favorites in Louisville. The two- to three-story brick building may not be overly ornate or really all that memorable, especially considering it’s across the street from St. Martin’s Church, but it does everything it’s supposed to as an urban building: provides mass at the corner, is scaled well, works well with its neighbors, and offers mixed-use potential.

Plans call for converting the structure into 12 apartments for the mentally handicapped. The complete project will cost about $2 million and is being developed by New Directions Housing Corporation; financial assistance is provided by U.S. Housing & Urban Development. The first phase of the project calls for about $360,000 to go toward structural stabilization and a new roof. The rest of the work will follow later.

A new roof is currently being installed on the lower portion of the structure and non-original additions on the back of the building were removed. The interior of the building has been severely water-damaged and two quite large trees are growing from its front facade, so there’s quite a bit of work to be done. All work on the project will adhere to historic Landmark renovation guidelines. It’s nice when you’re able to breathe a sigh of relief over a building being saved that once seemed all but lost.

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Branden Klayko

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