Odd Fellows Building

The Odd Fellows Building is located at the corner of W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard and S. Second Street in downtown Louisville. (WDRB Photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Members of the Metro Council Planning and Zoning Committee are reviewing the historical landmark designation of the Odd Fellows building in downtown Louisville.

The building, located on the corner of Third Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, was constructed in the late 1800s and recently given a historical landmark designation by the Landmarks Commission.

However, Metro Council is reviewing that designation.

The building's owner, the Omni hotel, requested that the building be demolished. The Omni said the land would be repurposed but hasn't proposed anything yet.

"The city wants to spend over $400,000 tax payer dollars to demolish this beautiful building and create another vacant lot in downtown Louisville," said Steve Wiser, president of the Louisville Historical League, who opposes demolition.

Wiser and several other community members said tearing the building down is unwarranted considering the already-empty lot that sits next to the building, which is also owned by Omni.

"We have a lot of vacant lots in downtown Louisville," Wiser said. "Why are we spending taxpayer dollars to create another one?"

Members of the Planning and Zoning Committee debated Tuesday on whether or not the historical landmark designation should stand. 

There was no vote or action, but an ordinance either supporting or opposing the designation is expected to be filed by Monday.

"I have some questions about the Landmarks Commission and how they arrived at their decision," Metro Council President David James said.

James said he is still considering and talking to other council members about how the designation came to be. Those against the demolition urge council members that it's best to preserve the history of the building.

"I don't see any reason for it to be considered for demolition at this point," Wiser said.

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