The plaque and statue at the John B. Castleman monument at Cherokee Circle were doused in fluorescent orange paint. | Photo by Joe Sonka

Mayor Greg Fischer announced late Friday that he will appeal a tie vote by the Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee, allowing the statue of Confederate soldier John Breckinridge Castleman to remain in place.

The vote taken after a two-hour public meeting Wednesday night was split, meaning the city’s application to move the controversial statue was denied, per the committee’s bylaws. Of the roughly 10 people who spoke at the meeting, the majority were in favor of keeping it, Insider reported.

The city plans to file its appeal with the Landmarks Commission within the next 30 days, according to the mayor’s office. Fischer said he was disappointed with the committee vote Wednesday and is hopeful that the commission will approve the move.

Controversy around the Castleman statue arose around the same time that protests occurred over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Va. The protests, in that case, resulted in one death and a number of injuries.

In Louisville, vandals threw paint on the statue of Castleman, who like Lee was a member of the Confederate Army, and questions were raised about whether the statue should remain. Although Castleman has been praised for contributions to Louisville, his Confederate past has led some to argue that the statue honors racism and bigotry.

While the Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee, formed by Fischer to look at the city’s public art policies, did not weigh in specifically on the Castleman statue, its report led Fischer to announce plans to move it and a statue of anti-immigrant newspaper publisher George Dennison Prentice. The Prentice statue was moved into a city storage facility in December, but the city needs special approval to move the Castleman statue because of its location in Cherokee Triangle.

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Caitlin Bowling
Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]