Preservation Louisville Announces Metro’s 2011
Top 10 Most Endangered Historic Places &
Top 10 Preservation Successes
A “most endangered” list is a preservation tool for recognizing sites with historic, cultural or archaeological significance that are directly threatened or in immediate danger of being lost. The “Endangered Properties” list has a long history in Louisville. It was initially created by Preservation Alliance, and in 1999 the list was taken over by The Louisville Historic League. The list is now compiled and published by Preservation Louisville, Inc., Louisville’s citywide preservation organization since 2007. This year along with the list of "Louisville's Top 10 Endangered Historic Places" list, Preservation Louisville also announced "Louisville's Top 10 Preservation Successes" recognizing preservation projects that have successfully rehabilitated and returned a historic building to productive use. The lists were announced during a 10:00 a.m. press conference at one of Louisville's Whiskey Row buildings, the Whiskey Row Lofts. Whiskey Row Lofts is part of a new development that is located in Louisville's famed Whiskey Row district. The historic buildings on the corner of 2nd and W. Main Streets are being restored and the development will include condominiums, retail/office space, and is already home to three restaurants and is one of Preservation Louisville's 2011 Top Ten Preservation Successes.
Preservation Louisville, Inc. is a citywide, non-profit preservation organization that works in partnership with local, state and national organizations to promote preservation of Louisville’s historic resources through education and advocacy.
Properties named to 2011 Louisville’s Top 10 Most Endangered Historic Places & Top 10 Preservation Successes are:
Louisville’s 2011 Top 10 Most Endangered Historic Places List
(Click any picture for a larger version)
1. Whiskey Row buildings (105-119 W. Main St.)
Listed for the 2nd time in 2009: The area originally called "Whiskey Row" was named this because of the buildings Cast Iron facades and the many whiskey businesses that began there. The historic Whiskey Row Block, at 101-133 West Main St., is a row of attached buildings built approximately between 1852 and 1905. Architects include Henry Whitestone, John Andrewartha (City Hall) and D. X. Murphy (Churchill Downs). Many were built and used by pork dealers and whiskey companies. The L& N Railroad Co. and Belknap Hardware Co. also had headquarters in the buildings. These properties located on the north side of the 100 block of East Main Street are in varying levels of deterioration.
2. Shotgun Houses
Listed in 2009: Louisville has the largest inventory of shotgun houses and they make up 10% of Louisville's building stock. These houses are found in many of Louisville's neighborhoods such as, Portland, Germantown, Butchertown, Russell and California. Shotgun houses are among the most common late 19th century and early 20th century house types in the urban South. The majority of local examples were built between the end of the Civil War and 1910. Oral tradition attributes the name "shotgun house" to their distinct floor plan.
3. Colonial Gardens
Listed in 2009: Located across from Iroquois Park, Colonial Gardens featured big bands during the 1940s. However, it had its own difficulties as well; it lost its right to sell rationed foods in 1944, and was found to have an illegal gambling device on the premises on January 13, 1948. A fire on August 16, 1950 caused $10,000 in damages. In the 1950s it served as both a hangout for teens, as well as a bar. Jerry Lee Lewis is said to have performed at the restaurant; also, local oral history holds that Elvis Presley had an unscheduled performance at the restaurant in 1956, as it was close to the home of his grandparents, whom he was visiting at the time. Currently, Colonial Gardens is a vacant building, after closing in June 2003. In 2008 Preservation Louisville worked on a campaign to designate Colonial Gardens a local landmark.
4. Water Co. Block Historic Buildings
Listed in 2005: The Water Co. Block bounded by Second, Third and Liberty streets and Muhammad Ali Boulevard has 5 historic buildings that are endangered, the Falls City Theater building, Louisville Water Co. buildings, Odd Fellows Hall and Morrisey Garage. The Louisville Water Co. occupied the buildings at 435 S. 3rd Street from 1910-1998. Louisville Metro government now controls all of the land and feels the property is needed to expand the 4th Street Live entertainment complex. The land eventually will be leased to Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. for an expansion of the popular entertainment district.
5. Mid-Century Modern Structures
Listed in 2010: Art Deco architecture and Mid-Century Modern structures are purely representative of 20th Century design. Both styles were rooted in the idea of creating a new design language for a new century as a way to separate from the elaborate architecture of the Victorian-era. Art Deco emerged during the Jazz Age of the 1920s and reflected the exuberance of the time. Characterized by verticality and stepped-back massing, Found on institutional, commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, elements of Art Deco and Mid- Century Modern structures permeated Louisville's built environment and represent the design aesthetics of the early- and mid-twentieth century.
6. Park Hill District
Listed in 2008: The Park Hill district (bounded by Algonquin Parkway to the south, 6th Street on the east, 15th Street on the west; and Broadway to the north) was once Louisville's manufacturing and industrial heartland. Thousands of Louisvillians worked here and created products used by millions of Americans. Companies like: American Standard, Henry Vogt, and Mengel. Now this district lays dormant awaiting revitalization. In the interim though, beautiful substantial structures are being threatened with deterioration and demolition.
7. Jeffersonville Masonic Temple
Listed in 2011: The Jeffersonville Masonic Temple at 509 Spring Street is Neo- classical, Arthur Loomis-designed Masonic Temple built in 1927. The building is owned by Pinnacle Properties Development Group and has been vacant for several years. The owner has failed to maintain the building and a leaking roof threatens the integrity of the structure.
8. Corner Store Fronts
Listed in 2010: Popular from the 1840's-1950's: Bright, airy and proud these corner stores brought the necessary goods to a neighborhood without the big shopping mall or strip centers. Early owner's also lived on site, which provided an extra level of neighborhood pride. These properties were the "General Store" gone urban. The freedom of these buildings allowed the lack of a supporting parking lot- making them fit within the same lot patterns shared by surrounding, tightly packed, housing stock. As the urban landscape has changed our habits have changed with them, the result is we now have to drive further to get the things we once could find at the end of the block.
9. Roscoe Goose House
Listed in 2011: The Roscoe Goose house is located at 3012 S. 3rd St. and was built in 1900. Roscoe Goose acquired the house in 1912 and lived there with his brother Carl Goose, until his death in 1971. Roscoe Goose was an American jockey who captured the Kentucky Derby with the colt, Donerail. Sent off at 91:1 odds, Roscoe Goose stunned racing fans with a win that returned backers $184.90 for a $2 wager, a Derby record which still stands. Dubbed The Golden Goose, when his career as a jockey came to an end he remained in the Thoroughbred racing industry as a trainer and an owner. The Roscoe Goose house has had a lack of maintenance over the past several years and was owned by the church adjacent to the property, which is now vacant.
10. Historic Properties within the Proposed Bridge Route
Listed in 1999: Since the announcement that a major overhaul of the interstate and bridge transportation system, all of the historic properties within the proposed routes were placed on this list. The League continues to monitor this process and attend hearings where necessary to assist in protecting these structures. This entry will remain on the list until a final proposal has been determined and all of the buildings fate has been resolved.
Louisville’s 2010 Top 10 Preservation Success
1. Whiskey Row Lofts
The corner building, 131 W Main Street, was built by the L&N Railroad as it headquarters. Its history is reflected in a massive grand staircase that runs from the ground floor to the top floor of the building. 127 W. Main St. was built in 1869 by John Andrewartha, who also designed the old Louisville City Hall. The current building also sits on the site of the old Galt House and first housed B.F. Guthrie and Co., a business in the iron trade. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it contained numerous distilleries, such as Bonnie Bros., J.B. Wathen and Co., Old Times Distillery Co. and Glenmore Distillery. An interior courtyard connects the 2 buildings. Whiskey Row Lofts is being co-developed by Bill Weyland (CITY Properties) and Valle and Stephen Jones. The team is fully committed to an historic renovation that will create a pedestrian-oriented mixed use community with unique features, seldom found in downtown renovations. 131 West Main Street has been in the Jones family since 1984. In 2008, the acquisition of the adjoining Burwinkle-Hendershot building was completed, creating sufficient massing for a renovation that would retain most of the unique features of the building. The mixed-use development plan includes several restaurants, many live-work and office configurations, corporate entertainment and residential suites, apartments, and special event spaces.
2. River City Winery
The Neoclassical building at 319-321 Pearl Street was constructed in 1900 for John Baer's dry goods and department store, with professional offices occupying the second floor. It later housed a W. T. Grant and Company department store (1931-57) and several short-term ventures, but by the start of its second century, the building was vacant, rundown and in serious need of some TLC. The River City Winery project began in 2007 with the restoration of the Baer's Bazaar Building. The owners Gary and Melissa Humphrey completed much of the work themselves to ensure that any historic gems were preserved. All of the windows in the building were rehabilitated, an option that the owners say cost half as much as replacement. The final project that is planned will be the recreation of an iconic wooden bear that stood atop the front gable to advertise Baer's Bazaar. On May 5th 2009, River City Winery opened its doors to the public. Preserving our Past...Fermenting our Future
3. St. Cecilia's
Its construction completed in 1928, St. Cecilia School was operated as an elementary school in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky until its closing in 2003. In response to the dual needs of preserving a valuable neighborhood landmark and providing much needed housing for the community's most vulnerable residents, The Housing Partnership and Catholic Charities created St. Cecelia Senior Housing. St. Cecilia was a $3.8 million project and it represents the best approaches to preserving historic buildings while providing much-needed, affordable apartments for our community's seniors. Roughly 20% of the financing came from Historic Tax Credits. Other financing came from a HUD 202 grant, which is a program that assists with housing for low-income elderly. In the case of the St. Cecilia project, the Historic Tax Credits were a blessing that gave the leverage to make the preservation of the building an asset. The building is now home to 30 low-income seniors.
4. The Pointe
Built almost a century ago with unique craftsmanship that is unparalleled in today's working environment, The Pointe offers contemporary space for all industries, from the creative class to professional services. The development group that created The Pointe is Tasman Properties Group. The Pointe is an adaptive reuse of a historic industrial warehouse converted to a modern 90,000 square foot building incorporating green elements. Since tenants began
moving into The Pointe in 2010, TPG has leased more than 50,000 sq. ft. Tenants include a theater, museum/ national guild, an architecture firm, digital agency, two interior design firms, a talent agency, two photography studios, a video production company, a marketing firm, corporate workshop, and meeting space.
5. The Ice House
The Ice House is located at the old Arctic Ice site at 217 East Main Street. The owners, Ice House Lofts, LLC is developing the three-building complex. Phase one of the development included a 12, 800 square foot event hall. There will be a Mezzanine level consisting of 1,200 square feet and above that a 4,000 square foot rooftop garden for outdoor events. The second phase of the project will include a mixed-use development on the ground floor fronting on Main Street consisting of retail stores, a coffee shop and deli. The seven-story building will consist of mixed-use dwellings such as retail and office spaces, as well as residential condominiums and apartments.
6. Market Street Inn
The building originally built in 1881 by George & Barbara Phau, was purchased at auction in April 2002 by Steve & Carol Stenbro. The plan was taken to several local banks to get a loan, only to be turned down because of the condition of the building. Through these obstacles work still began with the owners getting the building stabilized. Finally a local bank came forward with a loan offer and the project was finished and opened as Bed & Breakfast.
7. Impellizzeri's, Main St.
For nearly 40 years, the Impellizzeri's family has served up the greatest in Louisville pizza and service. But now, they slice it up even more with their newest location in a historic building downtown at 110 W. Main Street. The opening of Impellizzeri's Pizza Main Street location coincided with the opening of The KFC YUM! Center in fall of 2010 and is a wonderful addition to the Historic Main St. corridor.
8. Eddie Merlot's, Starks Building
The Starks building is located at one of the city's most important intersections of the central business district and has been a well known local landmark for over seventy years. The building was designed by D.H. Burnham and company of Chicago and is an outstanding example of turn of the century commercial architecture with Beaux Arts details. The Hertz Investment Group purchased the Starks building in 2006. Partner Mendel Hertz is committed to the historic preservation of the nation's oldest and most beautiful commercial structures and has earned a national reputation for his careful acquisition and restoration of historically significant business buildings in downtown centers across the United States. Hertz has taken the Starks building from 35% to 75% occupancy with the help of Indiana based, upscale steakhouse – Eddie Merlots. The restaurant signed a 15-year lease and occupies 12,000 square feet on the first floor of the building where they have installed a beautiful dining room and bar and award winning outdoor signage.
9. The Gillespie
Located at 421 West Market Street and constructed in 1929, the building was designed in the Art Deco style of architecture common to the era. Originally known as the Lincoln Bank and Trust Company, The Gillespie property later became part of National City Bank until 2005. Since 2008 the property has been known as the Gillespie- an upscale event space, which just recently named the Kentucky 2011 Best Wedding & Special Event Venue.
10. Water Tower & Pumping Station, Zorn Ave.
Louisville Water Company's original Pumping Station and Water Tower have stood on the banks of the Ohio River for over 150 years, serving as a landmark for the water company and the city of Louisville. The facilities are recognized as National Historic Landmarks and Civil Engineering Landmarks. Designed by Theodore Scowden, the Pumping Station is Classical Revival style and the Water Tower is the oldest and most ornamental of its kind in the United States. The Pumping Station and Water Tower operated until 1910. The Louisville Water is currently concluding a $2.6 million restoration of the pumping station that involved installing a new slate roof and repainting the building, and the company completed a restoration of the Water Tower in 2009 that included removing and repainting all ten statues, repainting the entire tower and installing new lighting in the look-out area at the top.
All Photos credited to Becky Gorman, Kentucky Heritage Council and Josh Lewis (except for Riverside Chapel: photo credit - Jim Pullon).