Vital Sites Supports Preservation of Odd Fellows Hall

Odd Fellows Building Liberty Hall Louisville KY
Liberty Hall AKA the Odd Fellows Hall, ca. 1897, 211-215 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, Louisville, KY

This page summarizes the local advocacy alert for the preservation of Liberty Hall aka the Odd Fellows Hall in Louisville.

The Planning & Zoning Committee met on Tues. Mar. 2 at 1 PM. However, it was not a public meeting and no public comments were taken. It is available to view via MetroTV. The committee meets again on March 16 at 1 PM, and Metro Council meets on March 11 and March 25. Here is a list of comments already received by Council.

There was a press conference on Wed. Feb. 24 at 12:15 PM in front of the building. View the press release here. View our updated PRESS page here.

It’s not too late to contact the members of the Planning & Zoning Committee (listed below in the first group) and express your opinion about saving this building!

jecorey.arthur@louisvilleky.gov 
cassie.chambers-armstrong@louisvilleky.gov 
madonna.flood@louisvilleky.gov 
scott.reed@louisvilleky.gov 
keisha.dorsey@louisvilleky.gov 
kevin.triplett@louisvilleky.gov 
robin.engel@louisvilleky.gov
david.james@louisvilleky.gov

Contact ALL council members to say you’re against demolition of Louisville’s historic buildings! Find your representative here.

barbara.shanklin@louisvilleky.gov 
pat.mulvihill@louisvilleky.gov 
bill.hollander@louisvilleky.gov 
paula.mccraney@louisvilleky.gov 
donna.purvis@louisvilleky.gov 
jessica.green@louisvilleky.gov 
kevin.kramer@louisvilleky.gov 
rick.blackwell@louisvilleky.gov 
marilyn.parker@louisvilleky.gov
stuart.benson@louisvilleky.gov 
james.peden@louisvilleky.gov 
nicole.george@louisvilleky.gov 
markus.winkler@louisvilleky.gov 
mark.fox@louisvilleky.gov 
kevin.kramer@louisvilleky.gov 
david.yates@louisvilleky.gov 
brent.ackerson@louisvilleky.gov 
Cindi.fowler@louisvilleky.gov

Urbanist Jane Jacobs once said:

“Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them…. Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

This beautiful three-story brick building was constructed ca. 1897 and used continuously as a meeting hall, offices, stores, a dance studio, and a restaurant over time. It is well-designed and remains structurally sound as the lone building on its side of the block.

Streetscape, 1928: north side of West Walnut (now Muhammad Ali). The only remaining structure is Odd Fellows Hall, center. (Collage created using photos from the University of Louisville Digital Collections)

Omni intends to demolish this building without a development plan in place for the parcel. However, Odd Fellows Hall remains a functional space that should be adaptively reused for a new purpose. Plus, it is more environmentally sustainable to reuse a building than to tear it down.

Vital Sites supports the preservation of this building. #OriginalCharacterNewStories

  • November 2020: the Louisville Metro Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission approved a landmark designation for this building. (Louisville Business First article)
  • February 2, 2021: the Metro Council Planning & Zoning Committee discussed the designation. Access the action summary and minutes on this page (click on the ‘Details’ tab); the Odd Fellows / Liberty Hall item is #7.
  • March 2, 2021: the Planning & Zoning Committee reviewed the landmark designation.

The draft designation report, compiled by Louisville Metro staff in February 2020, is viewable here. This document provides information on the history and integrity of the building, as well as background on the Odd Fellows organization. While the architect is unknown, the building displays architectural details similar to those designed by master builders of its era. (See graphic created by Steve Wiser, AIA)

It is a well-designed building that consistently adapted to new uses over its 124-year life, and it should continue to be a beautiful and functional space in downtown Louisville.

Dance Theatre of Harlem rehearsing in the ballroom space of Liberty AKA Odd Fellows Hall. Photo from The Courier-Journal on February 10, 1972. Note the round windows.