Paoli celebrates opening of rebuilt downtown row - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Paoli celebrates opening of rebuilt downtown row

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PAOLI, IN. (WDRB) -- The celebration is on two years after parts of historic downtown Paoli, Indiana burned to the ground.

Tuesday was a big day for people living in Paoli as they got to walk through and see the final product two years to the date of the destructive fire. 

The Paoli Square circles around a historic courthouse, and that means the newly built complex had to fit in.  "If you look at the front of the building from across the street it actually looks like four or five buildings that have been put together. There's different color brick, there's some accent pieces to it. It's not a real modern looking building."

Ray Walker of Walker Construction gives us a tour of the finished project which includes 12 low-income apartments. They are all equipped with energy-efficient appliances and cost $300-$400 a month.

Two years ago, the city's biggest fire in history burned the row of buildings to the ground. The pile of rubble sat for months until funding came through from Hoosier Uplands, a non-profit group. It took exactly two years to get it all done.

"Everyone's curious and wanting to see the new building and what it looks like. It's wonderful, people are excited in our community," said Gretchen Anderson, who works in one of four commercial spaces in the building.

Residents will get their chance to see it all at an open house Tuesday. Hundreds will be heading through Anderson's first-floor office. "And this was an opportunity for us to upgrade our office and move to the business district of town," said Anderson.

Pictures capturing that destructive day hang throughout the building that depict the history of the square, and depict the day of the fire. "So they don't lose sight of what was here before," explained Walker.

The complex has fittingly been named Phoenix on the Square, as those close to the rebuilding believe the area is rising from the ashes.

Applications are still being accepted for the apartments. Tuesday's open house runs from 11-2.

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