Friday, November 14, 2008

And they think the street names confuse people

Lexington developer Phil Holoubek recently completed the conversion of the old Nunn Building to condos and by all accounts has done a fine job. The new section fits well with the renovated office building and presents a beautiful face to N Martin Luther King Blvd.

Their website has a number of photos taken before and during the construction and final landscape work. All of the exterior shots are from North M.L.K. and some almost show the entry to the basement garage with the residents only door beside it. The driveway, if you will, comes directly off M.L.K., just like the homes being built in the new subdivisions and the wall beside it has their signature metallic logo displayed.

If you have followed all this so far, it is now time to reiterate just how Lexington's addressing system is laid out. Back in 1902 the city fathers directed the office of the City Engineer to set in motion a plan to renumber all addresses in Lexington.

Starting at the intersection of Main St and Limestone, thereby declaring it to be the center of town, he made streets crossing and running parallel to Main Street, east of Limestone, prefixed with East. And conversely the other direction was prefixed with West. The addresses were set with the odd numbers to the north side and even to the south. Similarly, the streets crossing and running parallel to Limestone, north of Main St. to be prefixed with North, and the other direction South.

A simple system. Easy to understand once you get the concept. The City then made all the sign changes and required all the houses and businesses to post their new addresses. This system, with just a few modifications is still in place today.

This brings us back to the Nunn Lofts situation. The Nunn building once held the Herald newspaper and the WVLK radio station. They used the address 121 Walnut St., which the Urban County Council changed to Martin Luther King. Mr. Holoubek retained the number for historical purposes and has displayed it beside the front door as required, even though he bricked up the original entry and steps.

Mr. Holoubek placed his new, main entry on the addition where it looks more like a back door than a welcoming urban doorway. See below.

What we see here is the south side of East Short St., which, as we saw previously, is supposed to be addressed with an even number. So, if you are looking for The Nunn Lofts and you go by the system, then you would end up at the wrong door, where you couldn't get in.

And you thought the arbitrary changing of street names as you glide through intersections was confusing.

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