Castleman statue removal to be discussed at Cherokee Triangle committee meeting tonight

Tonight, the controversial John B. Castleman statue in Cherokee Triangle may finally be unseated from its mount.

The Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee is scheduled to consider approving the removal of the monument to the former Confederate soldier and civic leader. The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the Old Jail Auditorium, 514 W. Liberty St. 

Some six months ago, Mayor Greg Fischer announced that the city wanted the statue gone by the end of the year. In August 2018, Fischer said the Castleman statue must be moved because “Louisville must not maintain statues that serve as validating symbols for racist or bigoted ideology.”

Castleman served under Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan during the Civil War before returning to Louisville and helping to create Cherokee Park.

Since white nationalist protests surrounding the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, the Castleman statue has been defaced repeatedly by being doused with paint and messages including “Racist” and “Traitor.”

“If the Committee approves the certificate, the city can remove the statue. If the certificate is denied, the city can appeal that decision to the full Landmarks Commission,” a statement from the Mayor’s Office says.

The city still has to find a future home for the Castleman statue, too. The Cave Hill Cemetery is a possible location, although the cemetery refused to take the George D. Prentice statue, another memorial to a controversial figure that was removed in December. That statue was moved into city storage.

Here are stories LEO has published on Castleman and Confederate statues in Kentucky.

Can we finally take down the Castleman statue now?
Draft statue report finds nuances
Tear down those statues — Louisville’s and Charlottesville’s monumental problems
So we understand why they were built – Civil War monuments in Kentucky: 1861–1935