City recommends razing buildings on W. Main Street for hotel project after revised preservation plan | In depth

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In a turnaround, a Metro government planning report released Friday now recommends that six buildings on West Main Street could be partially demolished for a Dream Hotel project.

The recommendation and others in the updated report will be considered at next Wednesday’s meeting of the Main Street West Architectural Review Committee. The panel delayed action at the developer’s request in February in a bid to find a compromise between the Tories and the hotel group.

Initial plans for the 169-room hotel proposed to tear down nearly all buildings between 811 and 823 W. Main St. while incorporating 19th-century front facades.

But the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission urged the decision-making review board to reject the demolition because it would not meet the city’s guidelines and preservation goals.

The Dream Hotel Group’s modified plan calls for saving more than 58 feet of the front sections of the buildings. By preserving more structures, the project will keep the exposed exterior walls and “significant parts of the interior party walls intact”, the report says. “It will retain a significant portion of the original historic form, massing and fabric of the main facades which are visible from Main Street.

Subway staff “determined that the revised plan is an acceptable compromise” that “helps create a story of building changes over time, rather than near-mass demolition and rebuilding, and is not likely to have a significant impact on the historic integrity of the neighborhood,” historic preservation specialist Katherine Groskreutz wrote.

The report also indicates that the planned new construction for the project meets the necessary guidelines.

The buildings are in the West Main Street Historic Preservation District and the West Main Street National Register District. They date from the mid-1800s and are known for their distinctive cast iron display cases.

C&P Real Estate has owned the four easternmost buildings since the early 2010s, according to online property records. The Owsley Brown Frazier Historic Weapons Museum Foundation has owned the two west side plots since 2011 and 2012, respectively, records show.

The Frazier History Museum is not part of the development plan.

At a meeting in early February, project officials argued that their original demolition plan was the best way to build a modern hotel with adequate windows and other amenities. They said most of the buildings weren’t worth saving.

But Louisville conservatives and others demanded a compromise that would keep more buildings intact.

The review committee is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. on March 30 to consider the new recommendations.

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