Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion to undergo emergency demolition this week

July 24, 2023

Emergency demolition work will begin this week on Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion at Cherokee Park. Louisville Metro Government issued an order for emergency demolition of the structure last week after finding extensive deterioration of the structure, making it unstable and in imminent danger of failure or collapse.

Crews are expected to begin moving equipment into the vicinity of the pavilion today with removal of the structure taking place later this week. 

“The Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion has been a familiar site in our community for almost 60 years. It’s been a place for friends to gather for events like birthday parties, barbecues, and more. Like other structures that age, time and weather have taken a toll, and there are now enormous costs associated with making the structure safe for use. Because of the current structural concerns, Louisville Metro will move forward with taking down the pavilion,” said Mayor Craig Greenberg. “We are planning to seek funding to build a new structure for neighbors, families, and future generations to enjoy, and we look forward to sharing details about that soon.”

The order cited the fourth structural assessment, completed in June that found consistent cracking in the stone veneer of Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion and increased cracking in at least one area of the pavilion where assessors were able to remove portions of the stone veneer by hand. The assessment notes that a steel casing connection plate was observed to be pulling and rotating away from the concrete abutment. The damage to the foundation was ultimately what prompted Metro to issue the emergency order.

A citizen’s concern led Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation’s engineering team to conduct a routine inspection of the pavilion in May 2022. The area was immediately closed and contained due to safety concerns. At that time and since, engineering firm Tetra Tech has conducted three assessments of Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion.

Each assessment recommended that the city either shore up and repair the pavilion, an estimated cost of between $900,000 and $1.3 million, or demolish the structure as soon as possible to prevent an unexpected or uncontrolled collapse. “Shoring a structure of this type and deteriorated condition will be a very dangerous, difficult, and expensive operation,” the report states.

In 2013, Louisville Metro Government (LMG) funds and privately raised dollars paid for $70,000 worth of roof repairs to the pavilion. Since then, LMG has spent $80,000 on roof repairs, drainage improvements, temporary fencing, and analyses collected by consultants working to verify the condition of the structure.

Parks and Recreation is planning on conducting a robust public input process with the assistance of the mayor’s office, Metro Council, and stakeholders such as the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, on a replacement structure, although no timetable on construction has yet been set.

Read the June assessment here

See the permit here

More about Hogan Fountain Pavilion

A new picnic shelter was commissioned in 1964 by the Louisville Department of Parks for the Hogan Fountain area of Cherokee Park. The firm Tafel and Schickli was selected as architects.

The pavilion was constructed in 1965 and replaced the smaller shelter, which was originally built on the site around 1895. The design of the original shelter was consistent with the Olmsted principle that park structures should be subordinate to the park landscape.  The design of the new shelter mimicked a tee pee shape with an exaggerated roof form, characteristic of 1960s commercial architecture. The pavilion is also known locally as the “Tee Pee” or “Witch’s Hat.”

It sustained damage during the April 4, 1974 tornado that leveled hundreds of trees in Cherokee Park but remained standing. In the late 1970s and late 1980s, major repairs to the vertical structural beams leading to the roof were identified, and the beams were repaired with the steel bases.



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