A New Look
Pewee Valley, Ky., unveils
a revamped town plaza
The beautification project was done ahead of schedule
PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. (September 2020) – Pewee Valley, Ky., has long been known as a bedroom community of Louisville, praised for its quaint, tree-lined, white fenced lots and quiet, peaceful atmosphere. The city has recently refurbished the town square, making an even more attractive area for the community and visitors to enjoy.
The renovation of the town square has been in the works for quite some time, according to Mayor Bob Rogers, but one that has been well worth the wait. It’s a project that will “move the city up to the next level,” he said.
The redesigned area is the space along Mt. Mercy Drive in front of the Little Colonel Playhouse, Town Hall, the Pewee Valley Museum and 314 Exchange. Based on a design created by Land Design & Development Inc., the area in front of these buildings incorporates ADA compatible sidewalks, new storm drainage, permeable pavers, seating near the railroad tracks, new landscape areas, street lights and curbing.
Photo by Don Ward
Workers pave the street in Pewee Valley’s Town Plaza.
Chad McCormick, Water Resources Manager for Land Design & Development Inc. said, “Different concepts were presented on how the project would be spread out over time.” But instead of having three different phases, “all three were done all at once.”
Two design options were presented to the city several years ago, said McCormick, with different aesthetic appeals. Flooding issues were a concern to the area, and his firm also helped the city look into the funding process.
Rogers said that one of the biggest reasons for the project was to address flooding that occurs to the Town Hall and police office buildings any time there are heavy rains. “We want to run water away, rather than toward the buildings.” Drainage should no longer be a problem.
Except for the 2016 restoration of the Town Hall’s exterior, the last major renovation was done in 1974, he said. At that time, the Pewee Valley Bicentennial Committee decided to create the current town square area (the street between the tracks and Railroad Avenue). This was done in preparation for America’s Bicentennial.
The City Council budgeted $410,000 for the project, which began mid-June, and did not receive any additional funding. The town square now includes electric vehicle charging stations, pedestrian plaza, bike racks and is pet friendly. Mayor Rogers said the project was “right on target” in terms of completion.
It’s actually ahead of the projected Sept. 7 finish date, according to Kristen Hedden, Director of Development with Hagen Properties, the firm that oversaw this project. All contractors were local companies, such as Lee Brick & Block, which laid the wall pavers, and Kentuckiana Concrete Construction. Hedden said KCC “was the main reason we got ahead of schedule.”
She said that COVID-19 restrictions helped rather than hurt the construction timeline. Because contractors did not have to halt work due to events at Little Colonel Playhouse or 314 Exchange like they normally would, this sped up their work.
Photo by Don Ward
A sign reveals the redesign plans for Pewee Valley’s Town Plaza.
Hagan Properties “has done an excellent job,” said Rogers of the firm that is known for building apartment complexes. Initially, it was thought the project would take 90 days to complete.
Hedden said the original scope of work just needed the addition of a few more elements “to tie the existing ones to the new. It was all about making more amenities user-friendly for residents.”
She said this was more of a beautification project, building on what the city already had.
“It now has car charging stations, a free amenity to the city.” Much needed irrigation was added as well as a pedestrian plaza as an area for people to gather. “Light fixtures had to be updated to make them more economical.”
The end result is a beautiful space that enhances the front of the City Hall complex, an area that can be used for festivals and community gatherings. As an added amenity, a huge clock was donated by Deedee and John Hendricks, which sits on a new landscape island in the Central Avenue curve. Mayor Rogers said a lot of people came forward with ideas and helped with this project.
The town square ties in nicely with the existing Central Park, which lies behind the buildings on Mt. Mercy Drive. The project created a link between the public space in front of the buildings while tying in direct access to the park.
The only drawback is that the area may not see much public use for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This was our 150th year,” said Rogers. “We’ve had to cancel every celebration event, and we just canceled our Oct. 3 Founders Day,” which had been rescheduled from March. “I don’t see any immediate end to it.”
Despite this, McCormick said the city “definitely now has a more attractive festival space. The intent was to enhance the front of the Town Hall complex and tie it into the park area behind,” which the redesigned space does.
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