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Preservationists, City Begin Talks On Future Of Camp Taylor Building

Courtesy Camp Zachary Taylor Historical Society

Preservationists and Louisville Metro Government officials are in early talks to salvage materials from the old Camp Taylor Motor School Building and incorporate them into a new structure.

Until recently, the century old building was used as a maintenance facility at Joe Creason Park. It’s the last remaining major structure from the World War I Camp Taylor training facility but is on the verge of collapse.

Ken McQuire with the Camp Taylor Historical Society said they’d like to use the large wooden trusses and other features from the building for a museum-type attraction.

"We would use a lot of material from the existing building to add decorative features to make it look like it was built from that," McQuire said. "But because some of the material is not very sound, and building codes and things like that, it would be kind of a decorative application."

He said it's early in the process and there's much work to be done before any decisions are made on the future of the building and the site.

"They're going to do a survey and a study for the space and the site and what it's going to take to reclaim the building, put a new building up and build this other facility," McQuire said.

He said the cost of the project could amount to millions of dollars, so his group hopes to launch a fundraising campaign.

Metro Parks plans to tear down the old building this winter.

The structure, originally called the Motor School Garage, was built in late 1918 as part of the sprawling Camp Taylor facility. That’s where more than 100,000 young men underwent training before shipping out to Europe to fight in World War I.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.