Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation has filed plans with Metro Planning & Design Services to build an event pavilion at Locust Grove and to reconfigure the entry to the grounds.

The project’s cost is estimated at $3.6 million, according to the plan application, and total new construction would exceed 9,000 square feet. The project is part of a privately-funded, long-range master plan for upgrading Locust Grove.

The event pavilion would be paired with proposed improvements and expansions to the current visitors center, including an expanded commercial kitchen and added storage. The proposed new pavilion would be adjacent to the existing visitors center.

Other additions to the visitors center would include a window wall on one side and a new entrance canopy. The visitors center currently includes an auditorium, a classroom, office space and restrooms.

Patio space created by the addition of an adjacent pavilion also could be used as an outdoor classroom, the application indicates. The covered pavilion also would include added landscaping, green space and a gravel patio area.

Historic Locust Grove dates to the 1790s. | Courtesy of Locust Grove

According to the application, the location of the Locust Grove pavilion was selected “with a careful respect for context, topography and sightlines from the historic Croghan Home.”

In addition, by shifting parking to the west and reconfiguring the entrance, views of the historic home would be improved. An extended drive created through the reconfiguration would create an optimal arrival and bus dropoff area to the proposed pavilion and also make use of overflow parking, the application says, by adding lots of 60 and 19 spaces.

The landscaping plans were created by Louisville-based Environs Inc., while the pavilion was designed by Deleon & Primmer Architecture Workshop. Site engineering was completed by Tetra Tech.

Locust Grove, located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane, is a preservation of a farm owned by the Croghan family, dating to the 1790s. The 55-acre property includes not just the original, restored Georgian mansion, but also 12 other buildings, gardens, wooded areas, a spring and stone walls. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

A construction timeline isn’t clear. Jason Canuel, assistant director of Metro Parks, said the hope of Historic Locust Grove, Inc., which manages the historic landmark in conjunction with the city, is for construction to begin by spring 2020.

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies. Email Kevin at [email protected]