By Curtis Morrison, Louisville Courant
Pursuant to an agreement reached between developer Todd Blue and Mayor Greg Fischer and prospective buyers for Whiskey Row, last Thursday Blue began the demolition of the two adjacent buildings which most recently housed the Elmo’s Bar.
The short-term purpose of the demolition of the building at 306 – 310 E. Main St. is a surface parking lot.
Monday, the demolition project continued, but was stopped short at a juncture.
Which raises questions as to whether the demolition is being completed in a safe and professional matter.
Pictures help tell the story:
The West wall of the demolition project as it was left as of early evening on Thursday, July 21, 2011.
Note how that wall appears to be in great structural condition, and consider most Bobcats are between 6 feet to 7.5 feet wide, there’s approximately an 8-foot-to-10-foot clearance between the building and the construction fence:
The West wall of the demolition project as it was left as of early evening on Monday, July 25, 2011:
Admittedly, the odds are slim a wind will make the wall fall at the exact moment there’s a homeless person, pedestrian, skate-boarder, photojournalist or even a weeping preservationist standing near the perimeter.
Why Blue would take that chance is unknown.
It doesn’t take a structural engineer to see that an 8-foot chain-link perimeter is not adequate safety near an obviously compromised, 2.5 story, 3-brick-thick wall.
Given the nature of Mayor Fischer’s historical willingness to coddle Blue, it’s possible the city may be yet again letting Blue do things his way.
About Curtis Morrison. Curtis Morrison blogs at Louisville Courant. He’s a political activist, active in historic-preservation efforts.