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Public invited to give feedback on vision plan for WWI memorial in Joe Creason Park

Louisville Parks and Recreation wants to erect a memorial honoring Camp Taylor's contribution to the United States' efforts in WWI. Workshop takes place Nov. 13.
Credit: Louisville Metro Government

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Parks and Recreation is in the process of developing a vision plan for a World War I memorial in Joe Creason Park honoring Camp Zachary Taylor’s contribution to the United States’ efforts in the Great War. 

The first public workshop will take place at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Cyril Allgeier Community Center, 4101 Cadillac Court. The public is invited to attend, offer input and ask questions.

Camp Zachary Taylor, built in 1917, was a World War I training facility located six miles southeast of downtown Louisville. Camp Taylor was the largest of 16 US Army training camps. The camp was built in just 90 days and could house over 47,000 troops. During Camp Taylor’s three years of operation, the US Army trained nearly 150,000 troops there.

The main camp was located in what is now the Camp Taylor neighborhood. Three satellite camps included the remount station located near Eastern Parkway and Crittenden Drive, the maneuver field located on the west side of Preston Highway, and the rifle range located approximately 6.5 miles south of the main camp.

After the war, most of the camp buildings were dismantled and reused to build single-story homes in the Camp Taylor neighborhood, some of which still exist today. The last building built in Camp Taylor was the motor school garage in 1918 in what is today known as Joe Creason Park (across the street from the Louisville Zoo on Trevilian Way). The building had been used by Louisville Parks and Recreation as a maintenance facility since the 60’s but fell into disrepair and was demolished in early 2018. Louisville Parks and Recreation has stored some of the salvaged materials from the building, which may be used in the conception and development of the memorial.

The current phase of the World War I Memorial project is to develop a vision plan. This plan will include a preferred concept for the memorial and other features, such as exhibit and gathering space. The plan will also identify stories to be shared in the memorials. The vision plan will assist Louisville Parks and Recreation in acquiring additional funding and support for final design and construction of the memorial.

The vision planning process will involve two public workshops. The next one has yet to be scheduled but is anticipated for winter or spring 2020. You may also submit comments and feedback by e-mailing Louisville Parks and Recreation at parks@louisvilleky.gov.

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