Louisville putting politics before place-making

Louisville, Kentucky is home to seven historic landmark districts, including the nation’s largest Victorian neighborhood, but recent changes to the city’s 40-year-old historic preservation laws by the Metro Council have preservationists seeing an uncertain future. Citing concerns over accountability, public participation, oversight, and property rights, the council passed new rules giving the legislative body final say over all landmarks decisions and added restrictions to the petitioning process that initiates the landmarks review process. Now some fear that politics and potential corruption could erode the intent of the law and preservation groups are mulling legal action to reverse the changes. The contentious six-month fight was spurred by the four-year-old landmark designation of Colonial Gardens, a former beer garden built in 1902 alongside one of the city’s Olmsted parks. The designation stopped a proposed strip mall planned for the site, but the building remains vacant and deteriorating, splitting the neighborhood over its historic merits.

Architect Newspaper

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