High winds damage Louisville Gardens roof, debris lands on nearb - WDRB 41 Louisville News

High winds damage Louisville Gardens roof, debris lands on nearby car

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- High winds are blamed for blowing the roof off of the historic Louisville Gardens in downtown Louisville Wednesday night. On Thursday city officials address the future of the facility. 

One piece of roofing flew off the building and landed on an SUV, which appears to be totaled. No one was hurt. 

Shingles and other debris were piled along Armory Place, which remained closed Thursday morning. 

The wind damage is the latest blow to the historic Gardens. It was built in 1905 has been vacant since 2007. It's now being used as a city storage facility.

In its prime, the Louisville Gardens was home to graduations, concerts, pro-wrestling and even a speech by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. 

City leaders have been pledging to revitalize the historic building for years. But it will need millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades. 

In a news conference Thursday morning, city officials said the building is still structurally sound, and that the roof was under contract to be replaced this weekend -- but that won't happen now due to the damage. 

"Before this happened, they were going to begin on Saturday.  Obviously that will not happen because now we need to assess where we go from here," said Cathy Duncan, Director of Facilities for Metro Government.

Contractors say they will be replacing the roof in the next few weeks, and will cover it with plastic until then. 

"We had a contractor already that was ready to put the new roof on on Saturday," said Duncan. "So thankfully he's down here. He's actually getting the other loose pieces that are on top of the roof now off for safety reasons."

The initial roofing contract was about $400,000.  But after Wednesday's storm, officials say the cost will likely go up.

Armory Place from Muhammad Ali to west Louisville remains closed while crews work to clear the debris. 

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