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Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion will be demolished this week

The prominent Cherokee Park landmark has been around since the 1960s.

A wigwam-shaped shelter

Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion was built in 1965 and mimicked a tee pee shape with an exaggerated roof form, characteristic of 1960s commercial architecture.

Photo by LOUtoday

Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion, more commonly referred to as the “Tee Pee” or “Witch’s Hat,” has avoided demolition more than once over the course of 60 years — but this time, its final days are certain.

The 1960s-era picnic shelter in Cherokee Park, recognizable by its octagonal shape and steep roof, has been closed since May 2022 due to safety concerns around its imminent collapse.

After a fourth structural assessment was concluded last month, the city issued an emergency demolition order, and demo crews moved into the area yesterday.

Ultimately, damage to the foundation sparked the order, but other issues were also cited, including:

  • Consistent cracking in the stone veneer
  • Increased cracking in at least one part of the pavilion where portions of the stone veneer can be removed by hand
  • An unstable steel casing connection plate

The prior three assessments all recommended the city either make structural support repairs — which were estimated to cost $900,000-$1.3 million — or demolish it to prevent unexpected and uncontrolled collapse. “Shoring a structure of this type and deteriorated condition will be a very dangerous, difficult, and expensive operation,” the report states.
But like we said, the fate of the Witch’s Hat isn’t new. Its removal was included in Louisville Metro Parks and Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s 2010 Master Plan. It called for the Tee Pee shelter to be replaced with a smaller, 25-person shelter.

The plan led to the forming of a preservation group dubbed Save Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion, which was committed to saving the architectural structure. Over the last 10+ years, the group successfully delayed its demolition and raised funds for roof repairs made in 2013.

While the preservation efforts were making strides, the city deemed the pavilion beyond repair and too unsafe to remain standing.

Post-demolition, Louisville Parks and Recreations will conduct a public input process to get feedback on what Louisvillians want to see in its place.