West Main Street Preservation District

About the District

The West Main Street Preservation District was designated in 1974. The district contains a significant concentration of 19th century, cast-iron commercial buildings, rivaled only by such cities as New York and Portland. As Louisville entered the 20th century, West Main Street began a period of decline. Businesses moved southward toward Broadway and Fourth Street. The development of manufacturing centers in the suburbs during the 1940s and 1950s also drained business from the downtown. Many buildings were left abandoned or underutilized until renewal efforts began in the 1970s. Today, the historic warehouses along West Main Street have regained a high degree of occupancy, housing a mix of professional offices, galleries, cultural centers, and retail enterprises.

Introduction to the West Main Street Preservation District

District Designation Report

District Boundaries

The District is located just east of the downtown area, bordered by Washington Street to the north, 9th Street to the west, and 3rd Street to the east.

West Main Street Preservation District

To determine if a specific property is within the District, please use the LOJIC online mapping tool.

LOJIC Online

Certificate of Appropriateness

All development proposals within the District are required to comply with approved Guidelines. If required, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) may be approved by staff or the West Main Street Architectural Review Committee (ARC). Within the Office of Planning, the Urban Design Team administers and manages this design and architectural review process.


Certificate of Appropriateness Process

Committee Information

District Design Guidelines

Applications are reviewed in accordance with the approved Standard Design Guidelines. Based on the United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, the Guidelines are the distinctive characteristics and the statement of specific principles and standards governing exterior alterations to structures or sites.

The Guidelines address construction and other exterior changes to buildings and properties. All development proposals shall be reviewed for compliance with applicable Guidelines. The Guidelines may be updated or amended from time to time upon a recommendation of the Historic Landmarks & Preservation Districts Commission and with the approval of the Metro Council.

Standard Design Guidelines

Questions about the District?

Please contact staff at (502)574-6230 or email Savannah Darr, Historic Preservation Officer. 

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