Butchertown residents hope for change in their neighborhood's future

Leah McKinley
Leah McKinley
Robin Russo
Robin Russo
Natasha Maze
Natasha Maze

By Caton Bredar - bio  | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The Swift plant has been in the Butchertown neighborhood for a long time. But we all know that things change and you always want what's best for your neighborhood. We took a look at why neighbors say the big Louisville employer should more to another location.

It was originally named Butchertown, but not for the slaughterhouses that occupied the area. The name was a tribute to the city's earliest residents.

"Individual butchers, German butchers that lived along the creek," said Leah McKinley, a Butchertown resident. "Their family was the neighborhood, and they butchered."
History is just one thing that is close to 700 Butchertown residents, like Robin Russo.

"My house was built in 1882," said Russo. "I went to the library and researched the former occupants, and believe it or not, a butcher lived here for a period of 60 years. They were German."

Russo bought her house four years ago and has come to love everything about it. She said she has become friends with so many of her neighbors that it's like a family. Russo loves everything, that is, except the slaughtering plant.

"The best thing is the architecture and the neighbors. And the worst thing is the Swift," Russo said.

Russo and many of her neighbors believe Swift has failed to follow laws or act responsibly. Russo, like Natasha Maze, understood the negatives when she first moved to Butchertown - like strong odors, loud noises and heavy truck traffic. But Maze said Swift management could try harder.

"When you hear trucks 11 or 12 o'clock at night, you don't think they're going to be as loud as they are. You just want them to be ethical," said Maze, a Butchertown resident for the past year.

With the brick sidewalks and iron fences, Maze said the Butchertown area has much historic character that can never be rebuilt anywhere. Because there is so much there to enjoy, Maze said she plans to stay in Butchertown whether the Swift plant stays or goes.

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