Julie Ross

The Peoples Bank Building Saga

Julie Ross
The Peoples Bank Building Saga
The Peoples Bank in the 70's

The Peoples Bank in the 70's

If you’ve driven through downtown Lexington you’ve probably passed the Peoples Bank building on South Broadway across from ECSI’s office building. You may have noticed it because of its unique turquoise color and zig-zag style roof. Or, you may not have noticed it at all, but this building has become something of an icon. When it was about to be torn down to provide a new access point for the parking garage to facilitate the construction for the Krikorian Premiere Theatres, the community rose up to save it.  

According to published reports the bank building has been vacant since the 1990’s and is one of the few commercial mid-century buildings left in Lexington. It was going to be razed but efforts were made to raise money to save it. Langley Properties, which owns the building, agreed to donate it to the Warwick Foundation, a nonprofit preservation group. The Urban County Government also supported the project with funding and a new location for the bank on West High Street in the corner of the Rupp parking lot. Total project cost of moving the building was well in excess of $1 million.

After gutting the building the contractor missed the September 9, 2016 moving deadline and has since left the project. With the cost of moving the bank becoming cost-prohibitive, Warrick and the Urban County Government withdrew. Warwick is refunding donations to the extent they remain.

The bank from ECSI's offices across the street

The bank from ECSI's offices across the street

Another non-profit, People for the Peoples took up the torch to try and move the bank, but according to their Facebook page (@peopleforthepeoples) time has run out. On August 31, 2017 they posted: “We learned this morning that the fate of the Peoples is sealed. Langley Properties, after receiving code enforcement complaints from the city, has decided to demolish the building…Demolition will begin in the next one to two weeks.”

If you’d like to see the bank and can’t make it to Lexington, click the button below to see a live stream of the Peoples Bank Building. We put up the feed to catch the move, but now we’ll be streaming the demolition.

Once the Peoples Bank has been demolished it is being replaced with a new access point for the parking garage that will connect with the Krikorian Theatres, a new $18M cinema and entertainment complex, located on the corner of High Street and Broadway, across from the Hyatt. ECSI is providing site design services including site grading and drainage design, site utility coordination, and permitting with the Urban County Government and KY Transportation Cabinet for Krikorian.