Fate of Castleman statue up again May 9

The Mayor’s Office will go before another board, asking Thursday for the removal of the John B. Castleman statue in Cherokee Triangle. 

Déjà vu, anyone?

On Thursday, May 9 at 9 a.m., the city is scheduled to ask the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission to overturn the Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee and allow the city to remove the statue. 

Mayor Greg Fischer has been on a steady, albeit slow march to unseat Castleman, a former Confederate soldier and champion of the Louisville Parks system, since August. Calls to remove it intensified in 2017after the deadly rioting in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

“Louisville must not maintain statues that serve as validating symbols for racist or bigoted ideology,” he said at the time of his announcement that the statue would be moved. 

In January, the city asked the Cherokee Triangle ARC to remove the statue, but the panel was met with a parade of residents at the meeting asking for Castleman to be spared. (One person did speak in favor of removal).

The result was a tie vote: Three ARC members wanted the statue gone, three others wanted it to stay. Under the city’s rules, that meant the application was denied.

If Fischer is once again defeated, he’ll be able to take his battle to Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Read LEO’s story on “why they were built – Civil War monuments in Kentucky: 1861–1935.”