Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the Confederate Monument on Third Street will be moved to become part of an historic Civil War site in neighboring Brandenburg, Ky., and that a time capsule believed to be embedded in the structure will be retrieved and loaned to the Filson Historical Society for a future historic exhibit.
Mayor Fischer made the decision on moving the city-owned monument after reviewing a list of recommended sites from Louisville’s Commission on Public Art (COPA). The mayor said factors included Brandenburg’s desire to use the statue in a historical context, as part of its biennial Civil War reenactment, as well as the city’s location along the Ohio River, just 44 miles from Louisville.
“This new location provides an opportunity to remember and respect our history in a more proper context,” the Mayor said. “And it’s close enough that Louisvillians can visit.”
The Brandenburg City Council and the Meade County Fiscal Court are expected to vote tomorrow (Wednesday) to accept the monument, currently located on the University of Louisville campus near the expanded Speed Art Museum. “We are pleased that Louisville Metro and the City of Brandenburg are working to ensure a proper and fitting location for the statue,” said Acting UL President Neville Pinto. “While we do not wish to erase history, the University of Louisville is looking to a future that embraces and promotes diversity and inclusion for all our faculty, students and staff.”
The monument will be disassembled starting Saturday, Nov. 19. It will take several days to carefully bring down the structure and move it via truck to Meade County. While the work is occurring, portions of Third Street near the monument will be closed. Messer Construction is overseeing the project.
Newspaper stories from when the monument was erected reference a time capsule that was placed in the monument. “We are unsure of the exact contents, but are eager to see if the capsule and its contents have survived,” said Sarah Lindgren, the city’s public art director who will oversee the removal and relocation to the Filson.
Brandenburg Mayor Ronnie Joyner and Meade County Judge Executive Gerry Lynn were among those who made a pitch for the monument during a COPA meeting in July, saying then that its riverfront would be a very visible, “very good home” for the monument.
Joyner and Lynn said today that they are delighted with Mayor Fischer’s decision and that the monument will augment tourism there associated with its commemoration of Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s raid through Brandenburg, Ky.
The monument was gifted to the city by the Kentucky Women’s Confederate Monument Association in 1895 to commemorate the Kentuckians who fought and died for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
NOTE: Should the disassembly not be completed by Nov. 26, Second and Third streets will be temporarily reopened to make way for traffic to and from the University of Louisville v. University of Kentucky football game that day.