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$7 million hotel proposed for the Henry Clay Building

One of Louisville’s historic buildings is getting a new lease on life.

The henry clay building today

The nearly 100-year-old building is could be returning to its glory days.

Photo by LOUtoday.

A nearly 100-year-old downtown Louisville landmark is getting a new lease on life while returning to its roots.

The Henry Clay building, located at 604 S. 3rd St., is slated to receive internal and external renovations to add new commercial space and hotel rooms. Masonry + windows will also see an upgrade, and a new roof and canopy will be installed. There’s no timeline on the new construction yet — Weyland Ventures, the company that owns the building, has only just filed with Louisville Metro Planning and Design.

A black and white image of the Henry Clay building in 1926 with old cars lining the streets

The Henry Clay building in 1926, still bearing the “Elks Club” label on its top floor.

Photo courtesy ASC, UofL

Here’s how the Henry Clay is currently used:

  • Floor 1: Two theatre companies and a performance venue, plus retail space
  • Floor 2: The Grand Ballroom, a venue space for upwards of 500 guests
  • Floor 3: More meeting + convention space
  • Floor 4: The Beaux Arts Ballroom, a smaller and more intimate venue
  • Flour 5-7: 33 loft-style apartments + 11 condos

The new $7 million proposal will make the following changes:

  • Add 72 hotel guest rooms to floors five, six, and seven in addition to the 33 apartments.
  • Make room for a restaurant, gym, and spa on floor one.
Henry Clay St. Xavier dance 1947

See anyone you know at this 1947 St. Xavier’s high school dance in the Henry Clay ballroom?

Photo courtesy ASC, UofL

Turning back time

The Henry Clay building wasn’t built as a hotel, but that is how it spent its glory years. The building was developed as an Elks Lodge in 1924, but was converted to a hotel in 1928. It was the place to be until the suburbanization saw downtown Louisville fall into decline in the 1960s.

henry clay hotel room

Hotel rooms haven’t changed much since 1957, have they?

Photo courtesy ASC, UofL

The seven-story building became a YWCA for a time, but by the late 1980s it stood empty. For a time, Preservation Louisville listed the Henry Clay as one of the most endangered historic sites in Louisville. But in 2005, the Weyland Ventures Group undertook preservation and renovation efforts to save the historic landmark. By 2009, the Henry Clay building was listed as a success rather than a concern.

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