PA Email List | 2012-07-12 | Historic Preservation Board supports preserving Old Armory facade

The following is an excerpt from Keith Lawrence's article in today's Messenger-Inquirer...

Support for armory facade growing

By Keith Lawrence, Messenger-Inquirer | Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 12:00 am

The Preservation Alliance of Owensboro-Daviess County picked up a new ally Wednesday in its efforts to save at least part of the old Kentucky National Guard Armory on Parrish Avenue.

Although no vote was taken, members of the Owensboro Historic Preservation Board went on record saying they would like to save the facade and see maybe the first 20 feet of the building incorporated into the design for the new $1 million indoor tennis center planned for the site.

"I would be in full support of preserving the facade, but it will take the support of the (Owensboro-Daviess County) Tennis Association," Larry Conder, a board member, said during the Preservation Board's meeting.

Terry Woodward, another board member, offered to talk with leaders of the tennis association to try to gain their support.

"It may help them raise money," he said. "We've torn down enough old buildings in Owensboro. I know we can't save the whole (armory) building. But we should try to save the facade."

Gary Adams, secretary-treasurer of Preservation Alliance, had asked the board to look at the plans for the tennis center and see if the facade of the building could be incorporated.

Preservation Alliance has been fighting for years to save the 64-year-old building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A new armory opened at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport earlier this year, and the city plans to raze the old building.

The city and the Regional Water Resource Agency are planning to build a storm-water detention basin west of the old armory. That project could take part of the front of the building, Keith Free, a board member, said during the meeting.

But Ted Lolley, board chairman, said, "I would like to see them build an underground water storage basin and create tennis space over it."

Nathan Nunley, the city's downtown design administrator, said the new Boardwalk Pipeline Partners building at 601 W. Second St. will have an underground storm-water storage basin.

Adams said the city has earmarked $300,000 for demolition of the old armory.

Lolley said he doubted that the work would cost more than $100,000. Maybe, he suggested, the rest could be used to save the facade.

Keith Lawrence, 691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

Gary A. Adams, AICP
Preservation Alliance
of Owensboro-Daviess County, Inc.


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