Emergency demolition ordered for Hogan's Fountain Pavilion in Louisville's Cherokee Park
An emergency order was issued Monday morning.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An emergency demolition is planned for Hogan's Fountain Pavilion in Cherokee Park this week.
In a news release Monday, Louisville Parks and Recreation said the city ordered the demolition last week after it found extensive deterioration making the structure "unstable and in imminent danger of failure or collapse."
Heavy equipment will be set up Monday near the pavilion, but the structure won't be torn down until later this week. Nicole George, deputy mayor of public health and public services, said demolition will begin "as soon as possible" and could take up to four days.
"We need to ensure safety for all park-goers, and the pavilion is at imminent risk of collapse," George said.
The pavilion has been in bad shape for some time. The city ordered a fourth structural assessment in June that found consistent cracking in the stone veneer of the structure. Some of the stone is able to be removed by hand, and a steel connection plate was found to be pulling and rotating away from the concrete abutment. Damage to the foundation was the main factor for the city issuing the emergency order for demolition.
"The cost to repair would have been almost $1 million and would have impacted the historical integrity of the structure," George said.
A citizen complaint about the condition of the park landmark led to the closure of the pavilion over safety concerns in May 2022. Since then, three assessments have been done on the pavilion by engineering firm Tetra Tech. Each time, the firm recommended demolition or repairs that could cost between $900,000 and $1.3 million. A report on the damage said the structure was in danger of an unexpected or uncontrolled collapse and repairs would be "a very dangerous, difficult, and expensive operation."
In 2013, money was paid by the city and private donors to fund $70,000 worth of roof repairs to the pavilion. Since then, Louisville Metro Government has spent $80,000 on roof repairs, drainage improvements, temporary fencing and consultants to verify the condition of the structure.
Parks and Recreation is planning on replacing the pavilion after getting input from the Louisville mayor's office, Metro Council and other stakeholders including Olmsted Parks Conservancy. There is no timetable on construction.
The Hogan's Fountain Pavilion is a familiar landmark built in 1964 as a picnic shelter. The design was meant to compliment the park landscape. The shelter was in a tee pee shape, which was characteristic of 1960s commercial architecture. The pavilion is also known locally as the "Tee Pee" or "Witch’s Hat."
George said Mayor Craig Greenberg is "very passionate" about ensuring there is funding to reconstruct something on the site.
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