This photo was taken at 217 south 19th street in West Louisville. When you see a structure that was once a beautiful home, but is now a shell of its former self, one cannot help but to feel a sense of hopelessness. I remember seeing this building at 217 S. 19th St daily when I was growing up in west Louisville. It was lively, full of life and a staple in the neighborhood. Now it looks as though a bomb has been dropped on it. You have to ask, “Would this be allowed to happen to a home in the Highlands, Crestwood, or Indian Hills?” The likely answer is no. Now ask yourself “why is that?”
In the case of this home, I think it is much too late for rehabilitation. If there were advocates for vacant homes in this neighborhood, maybe they could have worked with the owner to work on the property before it got to this state. I think the next best thing that we could do at this point is to bring awareness to this property so that that city takes action to alleviate such an eye sore.
Vacant homes in Louisville are not a problem that started overnight and they will not go away overnight. But in order for people to understand the impact that vacant homes have on neighborhoods, we all have to do our part by helping to bring awareness to the issue. This can be done by documenting vacant homes–through photographs, creating a database of vacant homes, following up with the city, submitting complaints to the city about vacant properties, and monitoring activities in and around vacant properties.