Arts and Culture

After more than a year of deliberations and various committee meetings, the fate of the controversial John Breckinridge Castleman statue will be discussed again on May 9.

The city is scheduled to petition the Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission in an attempt to overturn an earlier decision by the Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee where a motion to remove the statue failed.

The Castleman statue has been a source of public debate since it was first vandalized in August 2017, shortly after a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Those who want the statue removed point to Castleman’s service in the Confederate Army; those who want the monument to stay say the statue — which depicts Castleman in plainclothes — is meant to celebrate his hand in developing Louisville’s parks system.

In August of 2018 — after the city’s public arts and monuments advisory commission released new guidelines for public art — Mayor Greg Fischer issued a statement calling for the statue’s removal.

In it he said: “We cannot ignore that Castleman fought to continue the horrific and brutal slavery of men, women and children.”

Thursday’s meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at the Old Jail House Auditorium.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.