In the early hours of January 16, 2009, the historic Portland Ave. Presbyterian Church burned in a 3-alarm fire. Located at Portland Avenue and N 31st St., all that remains of the original 116-year old structure is the bell tower. In the years since that fateful morning, the church has found a new home in the lot adjacent to the site of the original building. The renovation of the property, previously occupied by Kroger, began in 2010 and has come a long way since — it now houses not only a space for worship, but also offers a community center, food pantry and clothing closet for the needy. The PAPC is also working towards obtaining LEED certification for the building, which has been outfitted with a green roof and other environmentally friendly features. Despite all this development, the property still lacked landscaping and a respite from the concrete and asphalt that covered the parking lot and entrance.
With tree and labor donations from Ecotech, members of the Louisville Nursery Association (Denzil’s Lawn & Landscape, Riverfarm Nursery, Kenton Abrams) and TreesLouisville, 30 trees were installed in front of the church on February 16th. Where cracked concrete once existed, now trees will grow to provide calming views, shade and a space for peaceful congregation in Portland.