GOOD magazine recently published its Guide to Better Neighborhoods including one section on billboard removal. They present a series of steps residents and neighborhood groups can take to get a billboard removed including knowing the local sign ordinance, teaming up with a national organization, or using federal money to buy the offending billboard.
I can think of several house-sized billboards around Louisville that I wouldn’t mind seeing fade away, but the one pictured above on Preston Street in Shelby Park is one of the worst. You can see that, unlike the monster in the background, the double billboard is advertising to the city street, not the highway. It overshadows the scale of a shotgun house, doesn’t respect the urban edge setback, and is offering a bottle of gin larger than a car in a domestic setting.
Another example that comes to mind is on the corner of Jefferson & Jackson Streets. A billboard at this corner was once tucked neatly against the facade of a historic building. It was fairly unobtrusive, but when the structure was demolished, the billboard remained. Now it sits like a sore thumb in the middle of a grassy field in the urban core.
Want to take on a billboard in your neighborhood? Check out the GOOD article for more info.
The car in the grass, the busted sidewalk, and weeds covering the sidewalk, not worth mentioning.
I do agree however that the billboard removal *could* be the first step in cleaning it up. Poor is one thing. Untidy is another.
the car, weeds, and walk are just indications that there is no one with enough of an investment in this site to care. if these billboards were gone, this would be a great building site. i don’t think this one is a corner, so it may be of limited commercial use.
but the jefferson/jackson site could be suitable for a decent sized commercial-under/residential-over. the billboards make it hard to see this potential.
I’ve noticed the same ugliness creeping up along I-65 as you head south out of the Ville. I have contacted my state reps about the crop of semi-trailers on the sides of the interstate with adverts on them. Each week there are more in the herd. If you remind the reps that $40 million in Fed. Highway money is at stake, they take more notice.
I agree. The site has additional challenges, but that billboard is front and center. I mean, would any other neighborhood in Louisville allow this to happen? Imagine such a billboard adorning Lexington Road near the seminaries or even one out in Prospect. It’s laughable that someone (who knows when) allowed this to happen.
Archintent, as you pointed out, the site isn’t a corner one, but sits in a line of intact shotgun houses on Preston Street between Ormsby Avenue and Marret Avenue (across the street from a former public school nonetheless – now a Volunteers for America). An access road has been built to the alley, but one (or maybe two) shotgun infill houses (or perhaps something more substantial) could easily take the place of the billboards. (There are also some great examples of corner stores – vacant – just blocks from this photo.)
It’s important to remember that just a hundred feet across I65 from here, we would be standing in our beloved Old Louisville. Somehow, the wall of an elevated interstate highway allows us to forget that there’s another neighborhood so near.