Century-old building could be torn down to make way for parking lot

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

The Pennington House sits on the corner of Second and Broad Streets in Downtown London.

Even though it is more than 100 years old, its age may not be enough to save it.

The house's days might be numbered.

"We want the land. We needed the land in order for us to get additional parking," said Lawrence Kuhl, Laurel County Judge Executive.

Laurel County officials said they have other plans for the property.

"We have a lot of people that come to the court here for trials. We have a lot of people that work in the courthouse, and they were using other people's property to park on," said Kuhl.

Turning the tract of land into a place for courtroom parking is not what London Downtown officials had in mind.

"A gravel parking lot does not go along with what we were hoping to do in the revitalization process of Broad Street," said Chris Robinson, Director of London Downtown.

Robinson said they have applied for additional funding to revitalize Broad Street, in the same way Main Street got a makeover years ago.

They were unaware the building could be meeting the wrecking ball.

"We weren't aware that this is something that was to be high on our radar, so we're coming in after the fact," said Robinson.

Since the property owner Tommie Weatherly is willing to sell, the county said they will take him up on that offer.

"They were gracious enough to submit a bid. That's their property. They can do whatever they want to with it," said Kuhl.

The owner of the property, Tommie Weatherly, did not want to talk on camera Tuesday, but he said he felt he had to offer the property for sale because the county's bid specified property along Broad Street.

Weatherly said he did not want to see the home demolished either.

London Downtown officials said they hope the community will come together to find a way to save the building. They are still considering the possibility of trying to move the house to another location.

Judge Executive Kuhl said the deal will likely be finalized in the next 60 days.

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