LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A controversial statue in Cherokee Triangle has been removed.
The John B. Castleman statue was lifted by a crane Monday morning.
The statue has been vandalized several times in recent years because of Castleman’s ties to the Confederacy.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted about the statue removal Monday and said, “We have much more to do to dismantle the structures that got us here. This is just one step, & I promise to do everything needed so that African Americans in our city are afforded the justice, opportunity & equity they deserve.”
Neighbors lined the street early Monday morning as the statue was removed.
“Statues say a lot about who we are as a city,” Mallory Jennings said. “Little symbols of the confederacy may have held us back from becoming what we can be.”
Not all neighbors shared that sentiment.
“Potentially, I guess you could always argue that it’s better that it be in Cave Hill Cemetery than being destroyed, so that is some consolation,” Nick Morris said, “although we feel it’s removed from its home spot and that’s a real loss.”
The battle to keep or remove the statue has spilled over from neighbors into the courts. The statue was supposed to be relocated in 2019 but appeals stopped the removal. A Jefferson County Circuit Court judge ruled the statue could be removed Friday.
“American values would certainly say that we treat everybody equally, like we are supposed to,” Vicki Catlin said. “The statue, while it was pretty, didn’t do that.”
The statue will be taken to a storage unit to be cleaned before being relocated to Cave Hill Cemetery, where Castleman is buried.
Those fighting to keep the statue in Cherokee Triangle have no plans on giving up.
“I’m out here because the due process on this didn’t get done the way it should’ve been handled,” said Jeanine Grey, who stood atop the base that remained after the statue was removed, holding an American flag.
Steve Porter, who represents the Friends of Louisville Public Art, release the following statement:
“Once again, Louisville Metro has shown it has no regard for the requirements of the judicial system. Although a Circuit Court decision in favor of the Metro position was released on Friday the 5th of June, Louisville Metro knows full well that my clients have continuing recourse to vacate or overturn that decision. It is our full intention to file a motion this week, within the 10-day period allowed by Kentucky Rules of Court, asking the Circuit Court to vacate its Order for the reasons contained in the attached memorandum. The Circuit Court failed to consider the major points of law contained in our original complaint and we will ask the Court to reconsider. Failing that, my clients then have a thirty-day period to file an appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Louisville Metro has no right to remove the Castleman statue until all court processes are exhausted.”