Preservation Louisville Announces 2013
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 4:00.pm. press conference at The Big Four Bridge, which is one of Preservation Louisville's 2013 Top Ten Preservation Successes.
Metro Louisville's 2013 Top 10 Endangered Historic Places List
1. Vacant & Abandoned Properties: Shotgun Houses
2. Colonial Gardens
3. Mid Century Modern structures
4. Ouerbacker House
5. Corner Store Fronts
6. Roscoe Goose house
7. Lampton Baptist Church
8. Doerhorfer house
9. Historic Old Clarksville Site
10. Water Co. Block
(Click any picture for a larger version, photos are provided by Becky Gorman, Josh Lewis & Louisville Metro Landmarks)
Vacant & Abandoned Properties: Shotgun Houses
Listed in 2009: Louisville has the 2nd 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.
Listed in 2009: In 1940 BA Watson purchased Senning’s Park for fifteen thousand dollars. He closed the zoo, remodeled the structure and renamed it Colonial Gardens Restaurant and Grill. During the 1940s, Colonial Gardens hosted big band entertainment and dancing. It took on the persona of an evening club that included a full service restaurant. This important piece of Louisville's history is currently in need of development. There havebeen som erecent developments with this property and we are hopeful that it can make its exit from this list to the successes very soon!
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.
Listed in 2005 and relisted in 2013: the Samuel Ouerbacker House at 1735 West Jefferson in the Russell neighborhood is a beautiful landmark structure. Designed by noted local architect Arthur Loomis. The city of Louisville owned this property and in 2008 the city planned on demolishing the property. Concerned preservation organizations rallied to save the structure and an agreement was come to between the city and a new owner Scott Kramer of Studio K Architects. This property has been stabilized but until an adaptive reuse of the property can be funded it is still endangered.
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.
The Roscoe Goose House
Listed in 2011 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. This structure was designated a local landmark on May 22nd, 2012 by the Louisville Metro Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission.
Lampton Baptist Church
Listed in 2013: A stately Urban Church located at the Northwest Corner of Fourth & Breckinridge Street just south of downtown, Lampton Baptist Church has had problems in recent years with very expensive boiler repairs & operation (as stated in the Courier–Journal) – that during the extreme winter months of cold, it almost caused the church to close down. The limestone edifice, integral education building features and the incredible centered dome light inside the sanctuary, as well as the pulpit podium of a ‘Giant Gold Eagle’, wings swept back, designed by famous Louisville artist Barney Bright. This is not an attempt to undermine or embarrass our religious community, but to draw attention to the need for continuously supporting building types that are the pillars of culture within our communities. Our community must begin to think how we can preserve and support our sacred spaces.
Listed in 2012: The Peter C. Doerhoefer House was locally landmarked in 2011 by the Louisville Metro Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, as a significant example of turn-of-the-century architecture in the West Broadway area. This house is one of the largest and most monumentally detailed of the American Four-squares in Louisville. This residence was built in 1908 for Peter C. Doerhoefer, vice-president of the Monarch Tobacco Works and son of Basil Doerhoefer. The land was actually part of the same lot where the elder Doerhoefer had built his magnificent home several years earlier. All of this land and both houses were sold to Loretto High School in 1925. It is now owned by Christ Temple Apostolic Church, which does not use the house and would like to no longer maintain the property.
Historic Old Clarksville Site
Listed in 2013: Original Town Settlement Site, Clarksville, IN. Erosion along the Ohio River is the greatest threat to this archaeological site, portions of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.. In 1926 a hydroelectric plant was constructed across the river from Clarksville. The gates of the dam are aimed directly toward the Clarksville shoreline at the location of the original town settlement site and other historically important sites within the 279-acre tract causing severe erosion of the shoreline due to the strong currents. It is estimated that nearly 500 yards of land mass has been lost since the construction of the dam. Additionally, the site falls within the floodplain and is subject to seasonal flooding. An added threat is the fact that some of the area is in private ownership and incompatible land uses threaten the site. There are several junk yards in the area that have engaged in illegal dumping and filling activities that have adversely affected the aesthetic quality and environmental condition of the area.
Water Co. Block Historic Buildings
Listed in 2005 and relisted in 2013: 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.
Metro Louisville's 2013 Top 10 Preservation Successes List
2. 805 East Market St.
3. Wellspring Tonini Apartments
4. 1254 Floyd Street
5. St. Bartholomew Senior Apartments
6. 2741 Main St.
7. Shawnee Library
8. 811 East Market St.
9. 118 West Breckenridge
10. Union Station—TARC
Big Four Bridge
Construction of the original bridge began in October 1889, and the bridge was completed in August 1895. In June 1895, two months before it was opened, the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis Railway Companies (Big - Four) took over the bridge to obtain access to Louisville. The Big Four Bridge is 2,545 feet long, and including the original Kentucky and Indiana approaches, the bridge spanned 10,273 feet. In 1923, the bridge was shut down to all heavy traffic. After the transition of steam-powered locomotives to diesel-powered engines, the bridge was not able to support the heavier loads and was shut down to all heavy traffic in 1923. In 1928-29, a new bridge was built inside of the original superstructure using the original piers. In 1969, ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) declared the bridge “abandoned.” The Kentucky and Indiana approaches were removed in 1974. The bridge was reclaimed as a pedestrian/bicycle path in 2013.
805 East Market St.
Owned by Dr. Norman Radtke and his wife Chris, rehabilitation began two years ago and finished up earlier this year, with tax credits approved by the Kentucky Heritage Council and the National Park Service. Work included rebuilding existing rear walls, which were crumbling and reattaching the front facade, which was beginning to separate from the rest of the building. The floors, walls, and ceilings were all refinished and a modern mechanical system was installed. With these repairs the building should be in good shape for years to come, continuing to contribute to the neighborhood and standing as an example of preservation reinforcing a district's identity and reinforcing its sense of place. Gift Horse occupies the first floor, a boutique store-carrying artisan made and hand selected pieces of art, clothing, jewelry, totes, bags, and soaps. The second floor is occupied by Chris Radtke as a studio where she creates art that is presented both nationally and internationally from Louisville, to Washington D.C., to Germany.
Wellspring Tonini Apartments
The Tonini Building housed Tonini Church Supply Company from 1886 until 1992. The Louisville Metro Housing Authority acquired the building and maintained it until a buyer came along that would help with the revitalization of the community. The $2.4 million project is the recipient of $1.5 million in HUD funds, historic preservation tax credits, FHLB of Cincinnati AHP funds, and HOME funds. New Directions Housing worked with local non-profit, Wellsping to provide 12 units of housing for the mentally disabled within this project which was just recently finished.
1254 South Floyd St.
What began as a morning of fall clean-up at the Toonerville Neighborhood Association’s Ft. George Cemetery in the 1200 block of South Floyd Street at the eastern edge of Old Louisville, culminated in the purchase of two houses. Next door to Ft. George was a “kit” bungalow. For Sale by Owner, the Toonerville Properties partners, Nancy and Tom Woodcock and Anne and Charlie Arensberg, purchased the house within days. At the same time, Metro Landmarks staff, notified the partners that 2 demolition permits had been granted for 2 houses in Middletown – one of which was identical to the Floyd Street bungalow. The partners contacted the owner, paid for the pre-demolition salvage rights and also contributed to the Middletown Fire Department who had scheduled a training burn for the second house, then removed every window, the front door, side lights and framing, flooring, banisters, doors and trim. This Middletown Bungalow was totally salvaged to give new life to 1254 S. Floyd St.
St. Bartholomew Senior Apartments
St. Bartholomew Senior Apartments is a project marks HPI’s 3rd adaptive reuse of a historic building. In partnership with Catholic Charities, HPI found new life for this vacant Catholic school building, creating an energy efficient environment while maintaining the historic integrity of the building. The St. Bartholomew parish was established in 1941 and the school was built in 1942. St. Bartholomew is a 24-unit apartment building for low-income seniors. Residents began moving in to the apartments in October 2012. St. Bartholomew is one of the most energy-efficient multi-family buildings HPI has developed. Its Silver LEED certification will bring utilities savings to the residents and lower the operating cost of the building. By capturing the embedded energy used to create the original building in 1942, HPI has prolonged the lifespan of the original structure and reduced the amount of materials and energy needed to construct the apartments and common areas.
2741 West Main St.
The first Preservation S.O.S project was completed late 2012. Preservation Louisville was excited to be working with Metro Louisville, Habitat for Humanity, New Directions Housing, and Portland Now on this project at 2741 Main Street. Through the help of all these wonderful organizations, a family named the Shepperson’s received some much needed maintenance for their shotgun home in the Portland neighborhood. Preservation Louisville was involved in the facade restoration, including the restoration of the original front windows, removal of window awnings, the return of the historic scalop and diamond patterns and the victorian paint scheme. Preservation Louisville is thrilled to see this inaugural project come to fruition and hopes to continue to partner these great organizations to help more shotgun home owners in our community.
Since the 1860's there has been a library at the 3900 block of West Broadway. The first building was constructed of red brick and was built on land donated by Mr. Henry Garr. It served as a community meeting house and a library for which books were donated by people in the neighborhood. The second building was a frame building which opened to the public on February 10, 1922. In 1937, the flood which ruined so much in the City of Louisville filled the library with water up to the eaves of the building, ruining the collection and seriously damaging the building itself. The third building which was constructed by the W. P. A. of red brick and stone is the one which stands now. On September 10, 2011, the Shawnee Library re-opened after an extensive 8-month expansion and renovation project. The project included a new 6,000 square foot addition and renovation of the original 73-year-old library. The new library provides state-of-the-art technology, more study space, new teen and children’s areas, and more public computers.
811 East Market St.
811 East Market is owned and was rehabilitated by Mr. & Mrs. Chris Fuller. Work began a couple of years ago and wrapped up early this year. The building is a two story free standing commercial building, which was in need of significant repair, which made itself better known once construction was under way. This included structural stabilization and environmental hazard abatement. With these repairs the building should be in good shape for years to come, continuing to contribute to the neighborhood and standing as an example of preservation reinforcing a district's identity and reinforcing its sense of place. The building now leases both floors to AlterEGO, a boutique women's clothing store. The first floor is showroom retail space and the second floor is design studio space, with an atrium providing a visual connection between the two spaces.
118 West Breckenridge St.
The building at 118 Breckenridge began as two 19th century residences, but in 1929 were combined by the Filson Club to create a "fireproof" and permanent home for their growing collection. When the Filson Club moved in 1986 the building began to decline, eventually being turned into a car sales and repair center. Cinder block additions surrounded it on all sides, blocking out most of the historic aspects of the building. The recent planning efforts carefully removed this wrap around addition, returning the structure to its original historic character. The original Filson Club building was fully restored with generous support of Family Scholar House donors, including contributions from the project developer, Marian Development Group, and the project general contractor, Bosse Mattingly Constructors. It is now the Family Scholar House Academic Services Center at Downtown Scholar House and will be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Two years ago TARC applied for and won an award from the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) "Transit Investments in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction" (TIGGER) program to improve the energy efficiency of Union Station. TARC had two goals for that funding. First, to substantially decrease our carbon footprint and our utility bills, Second, to restore and protect the building's envelope. The first of those two projects was completed last November. All of the windows, from the smallest of openings in the attic to the huge art glass wheels on either end of the atrium, were restored to original condition and were weatherized. This work was done in coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office, AKA the Kentucky Heritage Council.