Director's Take

History and Progress image

History and Progress


How do you know a city? What do you describe when you start talking about a city to a friend? I’m going to guess buildings. One of my favorite things about being in other cities is finding areas with a collection of historic buildings, something that shows the roots of the city and how life and uses of those buildings have changed over time. Old, pretty architecture is my very favorite thing about Downtown Louisville too. 

Saving that history can be hard, though. It usually costs more to treat or repair something old than to build something new. Ravages of time can make a building economically too difficult to redevelop. And there has to be a developer willing to make those risks. On the other hand, that history and legacy is so important to continuing a streetscape, to holding onto our community’s history, or to keeping buildings alive that look different than anything that ever gets built anymore. 

And somewhere between those two schools of thought, we can save our history *and* move forward with progress. With the approval of the Dream Hotel’s new design this week, the West Main Street Architectural Review Committee cleared a big hurdle to allow an amazing addition to our Downtown streetscape. This kind of balancing act takes careful consideration on both sides, and we all are the better for it.

Sometimes the celebration is simply that both sides find that delicate balance and therefore have kept the door open for more preservation redevelopment projects in our city. Here’s to seeing more life in our older, pretty buildings!

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