LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The Christmas spirit is more than a term at the Blue House on South 28th street in Louisville’s Parkland neighborhood. The 119-year-old home has been saved, by volunteers, the place where music is everywhere.
Ted Champion, Ross and Shauna Johnson broke the 9th street divide. They are members of Christ Church United Methodist on Brownsboro Road in the East End. For the past year, this has been their home away from home.
Champion says, “It was a mess. It really was a shambles with plaster was coming off the walls.”
At WHAS, we’ve been covering The Blue House for a year. We noticed cracked walls, heavy mold, peeling plaster and chipped paint. But in this dark and cramped space, for 20 years, the music never stopped.
The Blue House is an afternoon violin program for West End kids. Parents told us it has saved lives, keeping kids off streets, all under the volunteer direction of former orchestra veteran Keith Cook who now marvels at the new hardwood flooring, everything installed free of charge.
But when they started ripping off the walls, Ted Champion’s group found some surprise residents, squirrels! They were nesting in the walls.
From floor to ceiling, wall to wall, window blinds to light fixtures, these elves went to work.
The darkness is now gone. Keith Cook says the renovations have been infectious on the students,
“People who've seen it are telling their friends you better start coming to lessons more. People who hadn't had good attendance, are coming down,” Cook said.
He also has a message for those who have helped, “I’m just so incredibly thankful. There’s no word in any language the amount of gratitude that we feel.”
WHAS viewers so far have donated more than $30,000 by mailing in checks. Some of you have even driven checks to South 28th Street. If you’d like to make a Christmas donation, here’s the address: The Blue House, 1316 South 28th Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40211