Midcentury Modern Building in Lexington, Kentucky Faces Looming Demolition

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By Brandi Andres / Published by Dwell
The Peoples Bank in downtown Lexington may face demolition.

This midcentury modern building, which stood as the Peoples Bank in downtown Lexington, Kentucky since the 1960s, may be nearing the end of its days, unless donations start pouring in to move the building to a new parcel of land in the Rupp District.

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This midcentury modern building, which stood as the Peoples Bank in downtown Lexington, Kentucky since the 1960s, may be nearing the end of its days, unless donations start pouring in to move the building to a new parcel of land in the Rupp District.

To advance the preservation efforts, The Warwick Foundation has stepped in and committed $300,000 to move the building to its new location, where it would become the Peoples Portal, managed and maintained by the foundation. 

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Completed in 1962, the Googie-style building is one of the last remaining structures of its kind in the area, and was designed by Charles Nield Bayless of Bayless, Clotfelter, and Associates.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray also supports saving the building from demolition and has proposed a budget of $150,000 to partially pay for moving the commercial structure to its new location. But with one week left in the new deadline, and nearly $250,000 needed in donations, the structure is all but wiped out of Lexington’s future.

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Lexington Mayor Jim Gray supports saving the building from demolition and has proposed a budget of $150,000 to partially pay for moving the commercial structure to a new location.

Completed in 1962, and designed by Charles Nield Bayless of Bayless, Clotfelter, and Associates, the turquoise building with its distinctive roofline is one of the last remaining structures of its kind in the area. Its destruction would mean yet another cultural-historic design that would be lost to the city’s residents.

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A 9,000-square-foot, two-story Krikorian Premiere Theatre will replace the 1960s bank at South Broadway and West High Street in downtown Lexington. The landowner, Langley Properties, and Krikorian have patiently waited for the move of the building, but a recent deadline of May 21 has been given to the Warwick Foundation.

A 9,000-square-foot, two-story Krikorian Premiere Theatre will replace the 1960s bank at South Broadway and West High Street in downtown Lexington.

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A modernist teller window at the midcentury modern Peoples Bank in Lexington, Kentucky

For more on the building and donating to the preservation of this midcentury modern architecture, visit The Warwick Foundation’s website.

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The Peoples Bank in Lexington, Kentucky before bulldozers arrived to warn of the building's impending demolition.