Walgreen's that Would Raze Historic Building to Seek Approval Monday
The building commonly referred to as the Bishop's Mansion, the towering nineteenth century former residence that faces the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, is one day closer to being torn down. The Diocese of Covington, which owns the property, has a development deal with Covington-based Anchor Properties to place a Walgreen's on the site. Those plans come before the urban design review board Monday afternoon. Initially, the plans were met with protests from preservationists and members of the community but it appears as though the dispute has settled. The proposed 14,500 square foot Walgreen's would be right at the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Madison Avenue and at Monday's meeting will seek design variances for its north, east and west facades as well as for placement of its off-street parking at a street corner, locating its drive-thru on a non-rear facade, locating the drive-through off Madison Avenue, and creation of a new curb to serve the drive-through.
From a June 12 story in The River City News:
...members of Progress With Preservation met with developer Anchor Properties to discuss modifications to the design plans for the Walgreen's that first surfaced in mid-February. Michael Ricke, executive vice president of Anchor Properties, explained the updated design which will look less typical and be more complementary to its prominent and important neighbors.
"We're not trying to make the building look like the Cathedral, we're trying to be compatible with it," (Anchor Properties executive vice president Michael) Ricke said. To that effect, a new plaza area will be featured at the sidewalk on MLK with benches for sitting and taking in the view of the Cathedral. The new structure will use materials that complement the nearby Cathedral buildings in color and texture. On one side, the store will be enclosed by a concrete wall that resembles a stone wall while another side will have an attractive wrought iron fence. New trees will be added along the sidewalks. Other changes to the original concept include more windows on the second level of the building to give the impression that it has a second floor.
The Bishop's mansion was constructed in the 1870s by a lawyer with the last name Cleary who was also a veteran of the Confederate Army.
PHOTO: Rendering of proposed Walgreen's/RCN File