Thursday, January 11, 2007

West Main Anchor to Expand

One of the "pioneers" of the West Main renaissance is getting a little bigger thanks to the City of Louisville. It was announced today that a deal had been struck to add a 37,000 square foot building along historic West Main to the Louisville Science Center.

The city has agreed to buy the historic Alexander building at 745 West Main for a cool 2 million dollars from a local holding company. The building currently houses city offices and the city has been paying nearly 250,000 dollars a year in rent. But with this acquisition, the Louisville Science Center will finally have more space to grow.

Preliminary plans call for a 1 million dollar renovation of the first floor into student classrooms. This will give the center, which hosts thousands of students each year, the ability to build state of art facilities and replace rooms where they had been using folding chairs and tables for labs. The remaining parts of the building do not yet have plans, however the Science Center will soon begin brainstorming the possible uses and how to raise the money needed to further along more renovations.

The Science Center was the first major attraction to be placed along West Main in the 1970's. In that time period, West Main was nothing more than a street of deserted and boarded up buildings. The Science Center, which then was called The Museum of Natural History, truly was the beginning of the rebirth of this amazingly architecturally rich section of town. Without knowing what their investment would mean to future generations of Louisvillians, the leaders of that time took a chance on a desolate swath of the city. The gamble certainly paid off.

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