Roof on historic Whiskey Row building partially collapses - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Roof on historic Whiskey Row building partially collapses

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) – Some who work near Louisville's historic Whiskey Row say its renovation can't come soon enough.

Some of the buildings are set to be demolished, but one is doing the job itself. Its roof has partially collapsed, forcing the closure of a stretch of Washington Street.

Joey Bailey has had a front row seat for the deterioration of Whiskey Row. For more than a decade, he's watched the buildings slowly erode from his office directly across the street.

"As we look at this out our windows it's just a blighted area," said Bailey.

In late July, part of the roof of the 107 West Main building collapsed. Citing safety concerns, the city has closed a portion of Washington Street. Bailey says it's a hassle for his employees, but one they're willing to live with.   

"It's certainly an inconvenience but we'd rather they go around the block than have something fall on them," he said.

The partial collapse happened just as the renovation of Whiskey Row was gaining steam. The building's facade will be preserved, but it, along with its neighbor to the east, are already slated to be knocked down by developer Todd Blue. Last Friday, he officially sold the other five buildings to a development group. The group paid $4.8 million for the properties, and plan to renovate them into a mixed-use development. It's a project the city has been pushing for a long time.

"This is a piece of property that is kind of a centerpiece on west Main, and so it's going to mean good things for that area," said Lindsay English, the mayor's spokesperson.

A timeline has yet to be announced for the project, but for Whiskey Row's neighbors, sooner is better than later.

"We're very anxious for the new owners to start the renovation and kick this project off," said Bailey.

The city says Washington Street will be closed indefinitely.

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