POV | Sometimes, Old Just Means Old (12/24/13) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

POV | Sometimes, Old Just Means Old (12/24/13)

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I understand why it's important to preserve historic buildings. Every day I'm thankful that so many of Louisville's classic Victorian buildings downtown - especially along Main Street - managed to escape the Urban Renewal wrecking ball.

But let's face it - there's a difference between "historic" and simply "old."  And sometimes, it makes sense for rundown older structures to make way for newer projects that will have a better use.

Here's an example:  Last month, developer Steve Poe announced plans to build a new luxury hotel at First and Main on the site now occupied by the deteriorating Marine Electric Building. Prior research had already ascertained that Marine Electric was on no historic preservation register, and construction was set to begin soon.

But now, a handful of so-called "preservationists" have come out of the woodwork threatening to scuttle the project by petitioning to have the building classified as a landmark retroactively.

This would be outrageous. Poe did his due diligence in good faith and his proposed project would be far more beneficial to the city than the eyesore that currently occupies the site.

Luckily, Metro Council members seem united in their resolve to overcome this stumbling block. But this needs to be watched closely. Because if the over-zealous preservationists are allowed to scuttle this plan, it could spell doom for just about any future re-development downtown.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.

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