After more than a year of debate, the iconic Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion at Cherokee Park will be demolished this week due to structural concerns that the city government has deemed as dangerous.
Last week, the Louisville Metro Government issued an emergency demolition order for the gazebo, which was built in the mid-1960s and is sometimes referred to as the “Witch’s Hat” because of its unique shape. Crews are to begin setting up equipment on Monday, with the removal expected to take place later this week.
In a press release, Mayor Craig Greenberg said that there were “enormous” costs attached to attempting to shore the Pavilion, which he said is why the city ordered the emergency demo, with plans to build something similar in its place. A June assessment by two engineers also called repairs a “dangerous, difficult, and expensive operation,” and suggested building a new structure would be the cheaper option.
“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,” Greenberg said in the press reelase. There is currently no timetable for a new structure, but the city claims it will conduct a “robust public input process.”
The conversation surrounding whether to demolish or repair Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion began in May 2022, after a concerned citizen’s complaint led a Metro Parks engineering team to do a routine inspection. Following the inspection, which found wood rot had deteriorated the structure beams, the gazebo was closed to the public.
Consistent cracking in the stone veneer of the structure was also found.
In December 2022, the Parks and Recreation Department applied for a demolition permit to tear down the Pavilion, but in March 2023, the city’s Individual Landmarks Architectural Review Committee voted 4-1 to deny the request.
The following month, the Parks and Recreation Department appealed the committee’s decision, although last week’s emergency order sealed the Pavilion’s fate.