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Weeks After Start of Demolition, What's Left of Two Downtown Louisville Structures Remains

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the heap of bricks, twisted metal and asbestos lining the sidewalk along Third Street near Muhammad Ali Boulevard is safer than the structures that had stood at the site for nearly a century.

Fischer ordered the structures demolished two weeks ago after receiving a report that said the buildings posed "imminent safety concerns for the community" and "should be removed immediately," according to a statement sent from city officials.

The facades of the Morrissey Garage and Falls City Theater Company buildings were removed immediately, much to the disdain of local preservationists.

“At this point, the old adage of you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone is completely true,” said Marianne Zickuhr, executive director of Preservation Louisville, in an interview with WFPL days after the demolition began.

But the building facades aren't exactly gone. They're now rubble at the site.

Crews began tearing down the structures on April 12, but little demolition work has been done since.

“The primary goal was to eliminate the public safety hazard, which was the front," Fischer told WFPL on Monday.

Fischer couldn't say when the rubble would be removed.

When asked if it would be hauled away Kentucky Derby day—this Saturday—he said "probably not."

The project manager for National Environmental Contracting Inc.—the company doing the demolition—could not be reached for comment.


Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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