As WDRB reporter Marcus Green reminds us in his most recent story, the venerable Louisville Gardens facility – previously called the Convention Center, and before that, the Louisville Armory – still stands at Sixth and Muhammad Ali downtown. Nearly 10 years after its closure, it isn’t being used for anything important, but it's still there. And this pleases me.
My downtown office looks directly out on this Louisville landmark, which means I’m reminded daily of its rich history. Long before the KFC YUM! Center was conceived, the Gardens hosted just about every kind of event imaginable. Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen all played there. Martin Luther King and President Harry Truman spoke there. It was the longtime home of the Louisville Cardinals basketball team, and it gave birth to the legendary Kentucky Colonels. Plenty of you watching right now graduated from high school there, and I’ll even bet many of you fondly remember its Tuesday night wrestling cards.
Now, it’s simply an oversized storage building. But the bones of the building are good. And as long as it’s adequately maintained, there’s hope that it’ll someday be revived and reassume its role as a tradition-rich community gathering point.
We may still be a long way from that point, but at least I’m not looking out on yet another parking lot.
If you have any ideas about how to re-purpose the Gardens, call and share them.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.
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