Another landmark in downtown Lexington is headed for demolition.
An application has been filed for a permit to tear down the People's Bank building, 343 South Broadway. Owned by Langley Properties, the one-story building is wedged between an apartment tower and a parking garage beside the Rupp Arena parking lot. It is most recognizable for its blue tile walls and zig-zag roof.
Langley vice president Scott Davidson said "plans are still being reviewed" for the lot's future use. Asked if the demolition was related to a proposed movie complex and IMAX theater on an adjacent corner, Davidson said, "Not necessarily."
"The building has sat vacant ever since we've owned it, which has been 15 years," Davidson said. "It has asbestos in it, making it very unusable. And so for those reasons alone, there is a better use for it, at least for the land."
Davidson said it might be 30 days before Langley receives approval for demolition.
Retired Lexington architect Sarah Tate was sorry to hear of the demolition plans. In a recent interview with Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen,, she cited the People's Bank building as an example of Modernism. That architectural movement didn't draw inspiration from the past but focused on how buildings should look and how people use them, with an emphasis on clean lines rather than classical forms from antiquity.
"I think it's the best example that we have of that late '50s, early '60s architecture," Tate said Wednesday. "The thing that's extraordinary about it is it's in its original condition and it's in good condition."
The building was designed by Lexington architect Charles Bayless and finished in 1961.
"Once that building's gone, we have no better example of that period of modern architecture in Lexington," Tate said.
Environmental Resources Inc. is the contractor that will tear down the building, according to the permit application. The estimated cost of demolition is $15,000.