Louisville Magazine

MAR 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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70 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.17 By Mary Chellis Austin Why are so many of the city's abandoned properties in west Louisville? Photo by Bill Luster Herbert Howard has been board- ing up vacant houses for the city for 10 years. "I think I done boarded up the whole West End of Louis- ville," he says one chilly February morning outside a house on West Market Street. e little white shotgun house has wood siding and a UK-blue porch. is one is an emergency boarding. Usually a police officer will call the Department of Codes and Regulations about some squatters or found needles or a building that caught fire. Inside this house, dozens of empty prescription pill bottles lie on the floor. A sofa and chairs sit among pieces of fallen ceiling. A toilet appears to have been used recently. Piles of tires fill one room. "It's probably from the tire shop right there on the corner," Howard says as he walks through the place, seeing which doors and windows need boarding. Nobody's Home He measures the entryways and goes out to his truck to saw off extra material from wooden boards. e one that covers the front doorway has been painted with black and pink handprints, part of the annual Blight Out Brighten Up volunteer beautification project. Vacant-lots crew supervisor Darrell Coomer says that the city has looked into boarding with sturdier materials. ey've changed the type of screws they use on the boards to make them more secure. Using acrylic glass in place of wood, Coomer says, is more time-consuming and more expensive. "A board is not gonna keep nobody out," says Howard, who will visit about 15 houses throughout town today, depending on the time it takes to get to each one. "A board is just a deterrent." He's been to this particular house several times. Property code violation

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