Friday, February 10, 2006

Mind-bending skyscraper planned for downtown Louisville.

Most people in the metropolitan Louisville area already will have seen this in the newspaper or on television, but if you’re tuning in from elsewhere, this story is absolutely off the wall:

Skyscraper to transform Louisville skyline, in the Louisville Courier Journal.

I could have sworn there's a bridge somewhere in the vicinity of 2nd Street ...

At any rate, look to the far left near where the Clark Memorial Bridge is in real life, and try to imagine a new arena there. Today, the C-J reported that the U of L trustees back LG&E arena site, an endorsement critical to the future of the downtown arena.

Obviously there’s much drama ahead for both projects, and no guarantees, because accompanying the stories about them was this item: Kennedy Bridge painting deal canceled. Years have passed, a state bribery scandal has been uncovered and millions have been spent, and still only 6% of the bridge is painted.

In some matters, Kentucky remains true to form.

Also, if you’ve not seen it yet, visit Louisville at a Crossroads, the web site that advocates removing Louisville’s waterfront Interstate 64.

(Photo credit:


All4Word said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
All4Word said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I hear there's real news that will mean more to the future of New Albany. Where might you find that news? Glad you asked. Maybe at Volunteer Hoosier.

And no, this is not blog spam.

ceece said...

bleah.My friend posted this on his blog earlier, and the first thing I thought was, "gah-how ugly"

maybe it will take some time and grow on me...?

Brandon W. Smith said...

Funky, unique, I love it. I'd live there.

Just don't mess with the historic district. :)

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Museum Plaza is very arguably the most significant architectural happening in this region in my lifetime. Rem Koolhaus and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture are justifiably considered to be the real deal worldwide. To top it off, there's going to be a German kunst hall inspired contemporary art museum with international exhibits right in the middle of it. Mrs. bluegill got to attend the unveiling. I'm ecstatic.

The juxtaposition of worthwhile modern architecture and preserved historic edifices has worked extremely well in Europe and is one of the things that makes their cities so livable. Our downtown is worth saving not just because it's old but also because it represents architectural accomplishment and human excellence in general. The practice of exceptional architecture didn't die a hundred years ago. New Albany would do well to consider that prior to subjecting ourselves to more McMansions. I'd love to see a similar, scaled to size building in the style of Museum Plaza put on one of the empty lots downtown.

Brandon W. Smith said...

Agreed. My last comment was tongue in cheek. The article mentioned some of the steps they were taking to protect the existing historical structures and make the ground level more compatible with the existing district.

As I spend a considerable amount of time, these days, reading and thinking about historic preservation, the power of thoughtful design and compelling architecture often crosses my mind. The impact of the built environment on our social interaction, creativity, sense of place, and so on is incredible. I too would welcome innovative new architecture in New Albany.

edward parish said...

Which structure will be completed first, the L'ville Museum Plaza or Scribner Place?

Karen Gillenwater said...

The Museum Plaza unveiling was an incredibly exciting event. There is much anticipation and support for this project in Louisville. Josh Ramus, the lead architect, gave a fascinating talk about the project considerations and the design process. This is truly a unique building and it will bring a lot of attention to Louisville. Most exciting is the opportunity for groundbreaking, international exhibitions of contemporary art and the innovations that will come with their unique approach to the design of the gallery spaces.

The proposal also includes moving the floodwall—replacing it with a newer design that will support larger openings. The belvedere will be extended to 9th street, back-door connections will be made from the belvedere to Main street locations such as the Frasier Arms Museum and the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, the connection to the riverfront will be renewed, there will be a 1,100 car parking garage, and so much more. For you construction buffs, the project will be innovative in the way that the island will be constructed. It will actually be built on the ground and then lifted into place with a method similar to what is use to construct large stadium roofs.

There’s a lot of information that the Courier reported, but there’s more at an exhibit about Museum Plaza that is now set up at 609 West Main. It will be on view until mid April and the hours are: Wednesdays – Fridays from 3:00 to 7:00 and Saturdays from 10:00 – 2:00. There are models of the final design, as well as early models of potential designs. There is a video including interviews with the architecture team and the developers. Their website ( also has an animated video of the design. In his presentation, Josh, said that he expects discussion, he hopes people will express their opinions—both positive and negative—but that he most hopes that they will study the design and the goals for the project. So, please, visit the exhibit!