LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Historical League organized a rally Monday morning in an effort to convince city leaders preserve a building that could soon be demolished by the Omni Louisville Hotel.
Demonstrators gathered in front of the historic Liberty Hall, also known as the Odd Fellows building. The building, located on the corner of Third Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, was constructed in the late 1800s and recently received a historical landmark designation by the Landmarks Commission.
The Louisville Historical League said it supports the building's landmark status and opposes its proposed demolition. The Metro Council Planning & Zoning Committee plans to review the landmark designation of the building on March 16 and could reverse that status.
The building's owner, the Omni Hotel, has requested that the building be demolished. The Omni said the land would be repurposed but hasn't proposed anything yet.
"Omni, I want to say, is not a friend of historic preservation," said Steve Wiser, president of the Louisville Historical League. "They've already demolished a number of buildings on this site. If you want to look over here at the Falls City Theatre monument, that's a remnant of one of the buildings they've demolished."
Wiser said structures like the Odd Fellows building add vibrancy to downtown Louisville. He noted that the city has already budgeted over $400,000 in taxpayer funds to tear down the building and that the city has already given Omni more than $140 million.
"We do not want to give them one more cent to minimize and makes less our downtown area," he said.
Wiser also said the city's contract with Omni requires a development proposal before demolition, but that hasn't happened.
Other people who spoke at the rally noted that the Odd Fellows building is structurally sound and that there's no reason to tear it down.
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