The Fiscal Court Building has, for many years, been home to several JCCO departments. The Downtown Branch, Dealer/Specials, Motor Vehicle Records, the Call & Processing Center, Liens, Motor Vehicle Administration, Information Technology, and members of the Communications Division all occupied the building, and every employee who comprises the above listed departments were recently relocated to the First Trust Centre on the other end of the block.
This move has been a long time coming, and the beautiful new facilities are a major upgrade for every department. However, it will be sad to finally say goodbye to the Fiscal Court Building, a downtown staple with an interesting past.
The corner of 6th street and what we now know as Court Place was, at the turn of the 20th century, site to the Home Laundry Company building, as well as the Congress Hotel. Both properties were acquired by Jefferson County in 1937, the year of the great flood. Rather than take on incredible costs to repair the structures following major damages, both the hotel and the laundry company were sold to the city. Not long after, both were quickly demolished. Then, Louisville architect Walter Wagner designed a ten-story building, the construction of which was completed by 1938.
The Fiscal Court Building was named a local landmark by the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Commission in 2001. However, years of neglect (even before the landmark status was attained) led to major disrepair. It’s an inside joke amongst long-term occupants that the city has talked about demolishing the building for years. This isn’t without just cause: rust, mold, and water damage plague the interior of the structure, along with obsolete elevators that break frequently and require repair parts which are no longer manufactured. The exterior is no better, with falling bricks requiring scaffolding to be put up around the premises.
With all of this said, there is a level of nostalgia associated with this old, yellow brick, Art Deco survivor. She served the city well, and hopefully she will go gentle into that good night. Demolition is planned for 2021, and a decision about a replacement structure has yet to be made.
Prior to the recent downtown relocations, the Jefferson County Clerk’s Election Center moved from the Edison Center at 701 W. Ormsby Avenue to 1000 E. Liberty Street. The Edison Center is now entirely occupied by LMPD, prompting the Election Center, as well as the Finance and Human Resources departments, to find a new space.
It had only been since 2016 that the Election Center moved from the Urban Government Center on Barret Avenue to the Edison building. The recent relocation to 1000 East Liberty makes two moves in under five years. The new site, formerly occupied by Neighborhood Place, is remembered by many longtime residents as Casa Grisanti’s restaurant.
After the many obstacles that outlined last year, 2021 has offered several positive, productive months. The Jefferson County Clerk’s Office looks forward to tackling even more projects as we approach summer.