Odd Fellows building stripped of landmark status after council vote

While the vote means the building could be demolished, specific details on what will happen to it have not been released.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Council stripped the historic Odd Fellows building of its landmark status during a meeting Thursday night. Councilmembers voted 20-5 to remove the designation.

While the vote means the building could be demolished, specific details on what will happen have not been released. Louisville Historical League President Steve Wiser said his group will meet Friday to discuss what to do next.

The building, built in the late 19th century, has been home to several different organizations during its long history, including the Odd Fellows group, Parking Authority of River City and most recently the Omni Hotel, which set up its offices in the building during the construction of its downtown hotel.

Omni Hotel purchased the Odd Fellows Building in 2015, according to the Jefferson County PVA website, as part of its deal to buy the property where the hotel now sits. Omni Hotel requested the city demolish the building in 2019, citing old pipes that made the water unsafe for drinking.

Aside from the cost to taxpayers, groups in support of preserving the Odd Fellows Building also touted the need to preserve historic buildings for both residents and visitors to the city.

“The top three reasons why visitors come to Louisville are museums, restaurants and historic buildings,” Wiser said during a rally earlier in March. “We do not need any more vacant lots in downtown Louisville.”  

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