Historic home partially collapses in West Louisville

Historic Building roof collapse in West Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Metro Louisville Codes and Regulations is taking a second look at a historic home in the Russell neighborhood after a roof collapse left the building a danger to surrounding homes.

  1.  What was once a beautiful property in the heart of West Louisville, now has a different reputation. 2317 Muhammad Ali Boulevard is now considered an eyesore to those who live nearby.

"It’s a danger here. It's truly a danger zone in this block,” Eunice Johnson said.

Like many abandoned homes in West Louisville, the owner of the abandoned property lives out of state. The property has failed 40 inspections since 2008, according to city records. Fines have been mounting on the property over the last decade and the total is now in the thousands.

Wednesday morning the house's roof collapsed in sending bricks into a nearby home and out onto the sidewalk in between houses.

Eunice Johnson lives next door. She said, "This morning I hear this big boom like a crash sound. I came rushing out."

The structural damage is so devastating, it’s putting neighbors’ homes and safety at risk. After inspecting the home, the fire marshal added the building to the city's demolition list.

That would mean the neighborhood eyesore would be gone, but so will the former home of one of the city's most notable civil rights activists.

"Louis Cole is just an icon in our community for civil rights. And the historical marker there at 2317 W. Muhammad Ali helps us all remember the cloud of witnesses that came before us,” Metro Council Member for District 4, Barbara Sexton-Smith, said.

This historical marker on the edge of the property describes Cole's legacy. He was a man who fought against segregation on the streets of Louisville and founded The Louisville Leader- an African American newspaper that was published in the early 20th-century.

"He fought the fight. He paved the way,” Sexton-Smith said.

His legacy is one of persistence, and standing up for the people in his community. His former home serves as the reminder of his contribution to the city.

But now the future of the hero's home is uncertain, as it is a danger to nearby properties in the current condition.

Wednesday morning the city said it would be demolished within the next week but late Wednesday officials announced they are reconsidering their options and hope to stabilize the building and later- preserve it.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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