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Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church Construction Blog

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Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church Breaks Ground!
July 31, 2010

Building Layout in  B&W
Building Layout in  Color
Building Layout Church side
Rendered Street View

Itís been a year and a half since fire nearly destroyed the Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church building.
Many delays were encountered along the way but on Saturday, July 31 the massive effort to rebuild officially began.
The church broke ground on a new place that will make a difference for the whole community of Portland.

What was once a Kroger building on Portland Avenue will be a church, community center, food pantry and clothing closet for the needy.
We hope to worship in the new fellowship hall by Easter and have the food pantry & clothes closet operating in the building by January 2011.
And on the land where the church once stood, plans are in the works for a small historic chapel. Itís all part of a new beginning.

The current building layout plans from our architect are shown at the top of this article.
Pictures from the ground breaking are posted in our picture gallery - be sure to take a look.
To conclude the ground breaking cermemony the bell rang out from 3200 Portland Avenue:

Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church Announces their Future Plans
November 15, 2009

This Sunday marks a special day for the congregation of the Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Church leaders announced new plans for their church 10 months after it was destroyed by fire.

The bell tower at the Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church is ringing once again signaling a new beginning for the church virtually destroyed by fire in January.
In front of the tower, the sign reads: "Patience is trusting God's Timing." Church leaders say now is the time for a new church with very old roots.

Construction will begin next year to expand the old Kroger store 2 doors down from site of the fire into a complex that will house the church and its non-profit arm, the Portland Avenue Community Trust. The plans are already drawn in the parking lot showing what will be the sanctuary. The drawing is in front of the left side of the old Kroger store. What was the old Kroger store will house in one half the church, and the other part will house their outreach ministries program.

The nearly 100 person congregation has bounced around to other churches on Sundays since the fire, most recently landing at their temporary home of Saint Cecilia. But by April of next year, they will go back to an old place just with a new face.

The expansion plans include green space on the corner where the church once stood, with a small chapel that will incorporate the old bell tower.

Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church
3200 Portland Avenue Louisville Kentucky
- Excerpts from the original Concept Design Review and Presentation, June 28, 2009

Sketch from the East
Sketch from the North
Proposed 1st Floor layout
Proposed 2nd Floor layout


On June 28, 2009, the Session of Portland Avenue Presbyterian Church voted unanimously to propose the architectural design option that orients the worship space toward the east.  On May 31, 2009 two design concepts for the new church building were presented to the congregation of Portland Avenue
Presbyterian Church which were then voted on. The plan which received a majority vote is shown above.

    • The floor plans (displayed above) show conceptual arrangements of major spaces: worship, memorial chapel, office suite, music suite,
      Fouts Hall, and teaching/learning spaces.  The next phase of design will develop these spaces in greater detail.
    • The circulation in-to and out-of the Sanctuary is better organized.  The connections between the Sanctuary and Fouts Hall (South entrance) allows for easy movement.  The entrance at the rear of the Sanctuary (West entrance) opens from Narthex/gathering space for procession preparation and welcoming.  The entrance toward Portland Avenue (North entrance) will be designed as a place to welcome the greater community.
    • The wall built around the prayer garden is expected to re-use salvaged stone blocks from the 1892 building and seating may be provided
      by some of the old stone steps.
    • The 'John Gray' stained glass window will be restored on the North side of the building.
    • The Congregation is in agreement to investigate 'green' building options.  A 'green building' is a building that minimally impacts
      the environment, both during construction and operation.


The Pre-application documents have been submitted to the Planning and Design Department of Louisville Metro.  Comments from the Planning and Design Department are expected in roughly four to six weeks (early August).

    • A zoning change is required as the size of the proposed building exceeds that which is allowed by the current zoning.  As part of the zoning
      change request, a Portland neighborhood meeting is required.  At this meeting individuals and groups of the neighborhood will have an opportunity to see the proposed project and express their support and concerns.  This meeting is expected to occur in late September or
      early October 2009.
    • Proceed with preparing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) goals.
    • Create a more detailed design of the individual building spaces: Worship, the kitchen, etc.


LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a Green Building Rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The system provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable building construction, operation and maintenance.  LEED certified buildings typically use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings which are simply built to code.  LEED certified buildings often provide healthier living environments, which contributes to improved health and comfort.  The USGBC has compiled a long list of benefits of implementing a LEED strategy, which ranges from improving air and water quality to reducing solid waste, benefitting owners, occupiers, and society as a whole.  Possible higher initial costs can be effectively mitigated by the savings incurred over time due to the lower-than-industry-standard operational costs; which are typical of a LEED certified building.

April 2009

De-construction of the existing building has been completed and the bell tower has been stabilized.
We will post updates on re-construction as they become avaliable...Stay Tuned!