Proposed demolition in Deer Park (Photo by Diane Deaton-Street)
Proposed demolition in Deer Park (Photo by Diane Deaton-Street)
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Proposed demolition in Deer Park (Photo by Diane Deaton-Street)
Proposed demolition in Deer Park. (Diane Deaton-Street)

A large building on the corner of Quadrant and Stevens Avenues in the Deer Park neighborhood could soon make way for a surface level parking lot. A tipster recently spotted an Intent to Demolish sign on the oldest corner of the Highlands Nursing Home and Rehab Center, formerly the King’s Daughters and Sons Home, at 1705 Stevens Ave.

Proposed parking plan (via Deer Creek Assoc.)
Proposed parking plan. (via Deer Creek Assoc.)

Richard Jett, Historic Preservation Officer for Metro Louisville, said the wrecking permit has not yet been approved but cited parking concerns as the reason for demolition. Officials with Highlands Nursing did not know details about their demolition project.

According to documents revealed by the Deer Park Neighborhood Association, the large corner building and a smaller ancillary structure are proposed for demolition. A site plan shows a small surface level parking lot taking the place of these structures.

While the small, internal structure doesn’t contribute to the neighborhood, the larger building pictured at top certainly does. Demolition of the non-contributing structure and subsequent improvements could benefit the neighborhood, but destroying the larger 3-1/2 story building for a total of 13 parking spaces is simply irresponsible.

Such a change would erode the urban quality of the neighborhood’s streetscape and character.


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Branden Klayko


  1. Are there any structural or environmental issues regarding the buildings proposed for demolition? How long have the buildings been unused?

  2. The neighborhood association held a meeting on July 8 and numerous residents attended the meeting. There was no one in opposition to the demolition. The building has not been used for years and is falling apart. The new plan is to provide landscaping and a wall surrounding the lot. The lot will include a retention basin to reduce runoff.

  3. WHEW! A wall and landscaping?? In that case, 'doze away!

    It is 2010, and we're still tearing down historic buildings for parking… There are cities creating developments that attempt to mimic the kind of aged character our city already has, and yet we continue to over-look the very structures that make Louisville a unique and urban center.

  4. This will be in some photographic history book on the Highlands in 2025. At that point, the residents will wistfully regret demolition.

    Oh well, MORE PARKING! Yea!

  5. Landscaping = green space.

    When is a building “historic”? Is any old building “historic”? What do you do with old buildings that need major funding to repair and don’t serve their purpose any more (this one was built to be a chapel)? Would you like to live across the street from an abandoned building?

  6. I live right down the street from this building so I pass by it every day. It will certainly feel like a drastic change to my neighborhood when it's gone. Seems like it could have been converted into a recreation room or living space for its residents. It has some really beautiful stained glass windows and much more character than the rest of their property.

  7. Id rather live across the street from an abandoned historic structure than from a empty lot. A parking lot counts as an empty lot in my book, landscaping be damned.

  8. Parks = Greenspace

    Landscaping is purely cosmetic.
    You’re missing the point… What do you do with old buildings that are dilapidated and abandoned? I sure hope ‘parking lot’ is not the go-to solution… Yes, I would rather live across the street from that abandoned building than a parking lot.

  9. If 13 parking spaces are an issue, then I think a totally different approach is called for. Attempt to flip 13 residents from car ownership to bicycle ridership. That neighborhood is dense. It connects to all the retail along Bardstown Road through ~15mph ultra-low speed narrow streets, ideal for bicycling. At home, provide covered secure bicycle/tricycle parking so chains don’t rust. Install some sorely needed traffic calming along Norris, which has become something of an autobahn of late. There are 1-2 schools, and Bellarmine University, all of which could benefit from some speed tables to help kids walk there. The retail access and transit access from here is simply some of the best in Louisville.

    It’s win/win. This would procedure would cost less than the parking lot, and be healthier for the residents, and keep them independent longer. It would benefit all residents of deer park, as they can cross their main street in safety, and there would be fewer drivers on the road.

  10. Regarding T Darst’s comment that no one at the
    neighbourhood meeting objected; No one asked
    or took a vote at that meeting. You cannot say
    that no one objected unless you asked everyone there, and I don’t
    know if they even asked anyone much less everyone. Furthermore,
    no one said it was “opt out” rather than “opt in” at that meeting.
    It is unsettling to tear down a nice chapel. What if it was
    a mos que? Would they let them tear it down? Is there a professional
    building engineer out there who could report that the building is
    still sturdy? It looks sturdy anyway, and well built, and very very
    attractive, especially compared to the awful soviet era style building that is in the front, which might look better as a parking lot…lol.

  11. @felix – EVERYONE at the meeting was asked. EVERYONE at the meeting didn’t have a problem with the revised plan.

  12. I am an EMT and get dispatched to this address frequently, I take patient care very seriously and in my opinion the only thing that needs to be dozed is the building attached to the original building which houses the patients. Disgraceful blatant display of abuse, neglect and environmental hazards. Interesting to me that the old “Historical” building is in question because it is abandoned. I would rather live across the street from an abandon building AND a parking lot than across the street from a nursing home that has NEVER exceeded a 1 star from the Health Cabinet and has a HAZARDOUS citation history. (just throwin that out there)

  13. The public hearing with the Metro Board of Zoning was held this morning to approve their application for demolition. Several neighbors were also in attendance and spoke in support of the plan, citing concern for the “decaying state of the building” and the “safety and attractiveness of the neighborhood”, and the board voted unanimously to approve on all motions.
    It looks like they’re going to bring it down very soon.

  14. This is so after-the-fact since the building has long been demolished but I had some memories of this building since my mother was in Highlands Nursing Home from 2009 until her death in 2013. I remember I would push her in her wheelchair and we would “sneak” into the building. It was an old chapel on the first floor with beautiful old stained glass windows with dates engraved into them, mostly from the 1930’s in memoriam for a long past individual. I remember being very sad to hear of the buildings demise. I will always have those memories with my mom “exploring” its history.