City files appeal on Castleman statue removal

City files appeal on Castleman statue removal
"No Borders" painted on the side of the Castleman statue.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An appeal has been filed with the Landmarks Commission to remove the John B. Castleman monument from Cherokee Park, the city confirmed on Friday.

The city announced its intent to file the appeal on Jan. 25, just days after the Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee tied 3-3 in a vote on the city’s decision to remove the statue. Without a majority vote, the plan was effectively denied.

Removing the Castleman statue requires the city to apply for a “Certificate of Appropriateness” from ARC since the statue is located in the Cherokee Triangle Preservation District.

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Fischer announced plans to remove the monument, as well as one of George D. Prentice, in August 2018. The Prentice statue was moved into a storage facility in December.

The controversial statue of Castleman, who was a Confederate officer during the civil war, has been vandalized four times in the past few years, most recently at the end of November 2018.

Castleman’s history is a mixed one. He is regarded by some as a ‘hero’--a highly regarded soldier in the Louisville Legion who helped create the park system in Louisville (including Cherokee Park) and as a pillar of the community.

However, according to the Courier-Journal, newspaper archives from 1916 indicate Castleman was a vocal advocate of segregation and fought to segregate the the parks he helped create.

The removal of the statue was announced in summer 2018, when a panel appointed by Mayor Fischer determined that Confederate statues or monuments could be used as validated symbols of racism or bigoted ideology. The panel said such statues had no place in Louisville.

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