The character of old buildings shines through in their authenticity, whether that’s history, age or patina, design, materials, or quirk. A single-story stretch of commercial building at 1904–1908 Bardstown Road at Kenilworth Place is quite a simple retail structure architecturally, but attention to detail makes it a superb example of early 20th century commercial architecture and a real gem for the Deer Park neighborhood.
Along Bardstown Road and an adjacent alley, a small decorative roof of terra cotta tiles, today painted and in need of repair or replacement, gives a distinctive texture to the structure. The retail building also features a line of detailed transom windows above a bracketed window frame that furthers this effect. The structure shows craftsmanship that was popular when it was built almost a century ago in the Arts & Crafts style.
With a building like this, the challenge comes when it’s time for maintaining such a facade, and this property could really shine if kept well. But proposed changes that will be discussed Tuesday by the Bardstown Road / Baxter Avenue Review Overlay District (BROD) could fundamentally change the style and character of the structure.
Property owner Kevin Oetken of Nance Realty has proposed a $30,000 renovation to the property that would:
- Remove the existing painted terra cotta roof line and replace them with a bronze-colored standing seam metal roof.
- Remove the original wooden storefront system and replace them with bronze-colored aluminum storefront system. Original transoms and frames would be kept in place
- Remove luon panels at the existing storefront and replace them with PVC or another similar material.
While it’s certainly welcome news that the transoms and bracketed window frames will be kept intact, the material change at the roofline (and to a lesser extent at the storefront system) will give the structure an altogether different look than it has today. In documents submitted to the city, the roof cost is estimated at $9,000 to $17,000 for the new metal portion. No estimates were listed for replacing the section with similar terra cotta tiles in keeping with the structure’s original design.
The Bardstown Road / Baxter Avenue Review Overlay District (BROD) will discuss the proposal tomorrow, Tuesday, May 24 at 12:00p.m. at the Metro Development Center, 444 South Fifth Street. The meeting is open to the public and should be pretty short, as this item is the only one listed on the agenda.
This case will be an interesting example to watch to follow how the BROD interprets its purpose. “The guidelines are not intended to discourage development or to dictate architectural design or style, but to encourage such development that contributes to the overall design quality of the Bardstown Road Baxter Avenue Overlay District,” its objective states. “The guidelines address construction and other external changes to buildings and properties located in the Overlay District.”