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Public Meeting To Discuss What's Next For CentrePointe

By Alan Lytle

Lexington, KY – A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday afternoon to discuss plans for the long-stalled CentrePointe project. Developer Dudley Webb has hired Chicago architect Jeanne Gang to help re-imagine the block which was once home to some of downtown Lexington's oldest commercial establishments. The buildings were razed back in 2008 over the protests of a number of historic preservation groups.

Hayward Wilkirson headed up the opposition as a founding member of Preserve Lexington. He's now a board member for Progress Lexington.

"At no point did we oppose some significant development on this block. What we wanted was a significant development with great architecture that also combined some of the best of our past. And, it's a little ironic; when I look at the proposal what I see is in one corner is a series of low-rise buildings. That's exactly the part of the block that we were really hoping to preserve. It was the most significant part of the block. It's at the corner of Upper and Main."

Wilkirson says after three years of stagnation, he's looking forward to revisiting the issue.

"My hat is off to Dudley Webb for thinking about this and for saying I can do this in a new way, and for bringing in a pretty good architect. I'm familiar with her work. She's done some great things. So, I'm guardedly optimistic. I think it's a good process. I think it's great that Dudley Webb is opening this up to some public feedback. I'm excited to be down there today and I'm really excited to hear what the rest of Lexington has to say about this next step for CentrePointe."

Jeanne Gang, a world-renowned architect, says she is very familiar with the history of the on-again, off again project, and looks forward to sharing her ideas with the public. Attendees will also have time to offer their input. The meeting takes place Thursday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the old courtroom located inside the Lexington History Museum.