The area the Society of Urban Perambulators will be strolling this Saturday, May 15th will be a part of Downtown a lot of people probably don't see very often, particularly by foot. Along with our partners for this particular event, Vital Sites, we will have a few other fine folks who will give us some insight and info into some of the historic adaptive reuse building projects and place-based initiatives along the way.
We will start at the Brennan House at 631 S. 5th Street. This is the last home left on what was once a beautiful residential street in the late 19th century. When you are there, look around and try to imagine what the street looked like lined with stately Victorian mansions.
Some of the buildings we will see and hear about include the Bank of Louisville Building on Broadway. Built in the 1960s, this building may not be what you typically think of as historic, but according to the National Park Service, properties must be at least 50 years old to be eligilble for the National Registery or be exceptionally important. Regardless, there may be some hope for adaptive reuse of the building and the fine folks at Luckett & Farley are not only trying to figure that out, they are also leading efforts to revitalize the SoBro neighborhood.
Along the stroll we will have a chance to see the Cathedral of the Assumption which is a pretty spectacular church we are fortunate to have had restored. Right next door is the Republic building which is currently being rennovated. Though the base of the building is quite beautiful, you have to look up at the top floors of the building to understand the craftsmanship and attention to detail our historic buildings like these really bring to the vibrancy of the city. The Harmony Building, also known as the Business Women's Club, abuts the Republic and is also undergoing extensive rennovations, which we will learn more about on the tour.
Some of the structures we will pass on the stroll like the Louisville Gardens are waiting for a great idea to bring them back to life. Part of the idea behind these Society of Urban Perambulators events is to get people thinking about what could be, not only what is or was.
While most of the buildings along the stroll are historic or have some special significance, there are also interesting structures like the AT&T building that is currently for sale. I imagine a lot of people hate this building, but I think there is something pretty interesting about it and the more I learn about it the more I'd like to see it rehabilitated. Story goes that this was designed and engineered to be more than twice as tall as it is, so think about what could be built on top of this.
I took the preceding photos on a pre-event stroll with my 13 year old daughter. I asked her to take photos to get a different perspective on what might be interesting on the tour. The following are some of the things that caught her eye, what will you see? Hope to see you this Saturday, May 15th at 11 am at the Brennan House for the event. For more information or to RSVP (event is free but we need to know how many people to expect on the tour), check out our partner Vital Sites event page, or for future strolls, email Patrick Piuma or join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thesocietyofurbanperambulators/.