Trawick, Jack

255 minutes
Owen, Tom
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Jack Trawick served as Director of the Louisville Community Design Center and later as head of the Center for Neighborhoods until his retirement in 2013. A Louisville native, Trawick was raised in the Indian Hills neighborhood and attended Louisville Country Day School for both his elementary and secondary education. In the late 1970s, he was an events coordinator for the Louisville Central Area, a downtown promotional organization. He is a graduate of Kenyon College (BA) and Bellarmine University (MBA). He is married to Patti Clare and has two grown children. Trawick, an Episcopalian, discusses his family roots especially on his paternal grandmother's side -- the Kendrick family-- reaching back two centuries in Louisville. Their Methodist faith led both his Grandfather Trawick--from a line of physicians from Nashville--and his Grandmother Kendrick to serve as Christian missionaries in China in the early 1900s. The narrator emphasizes the liberal social conscience that his mother, who was raised in Southern California in the WWII era, instilled in him. He spoke specifically of her strong distaste at the wartime detention of a close friend of Japanese descent and later of her personal friendship in Louisville with her African-American domestic servants. His mother involved him at an early age in support of Democratic political candidates. Trawick recalls neighborhood play in the woods near his childhood home, his relationship with his three siblings, preparation for college, and his college interest in biblical studies and utopian communities. Finally, he describes his role in downtown promotion at Louisville Central Area and chronicles the early days of Louisville's preservation movement focusing especially on the epic struggle to save the Will Sales Building from demolition for the Galleria Project. Trawick vividly describes his climbing among the ruins of the almost fully demolished building to salvage stoneware floor pavers. In the second interview, Trawick describes how he salvaged 19th century ceramic floor tiles from the ruins of the Will Sales Building which was demolished for the downtown Galleria complex after a bitter preservation fight. He follows with his discovery that the English tiles were likely used in both the U. S. Capitol and Louisville's City Hall. Trawick then discusses his discontent at the Louisville Central Area and how he was hired to direct the Louisville Community Design Center (LCDC), an agency rooted in architectural design that ultimately broadened its scope under Trawick to include neighborhood-based planning. He narrates the LCDC's funding over the decades mentioning various grants and funding sources that enabled work with the Louisville School of Art's move to the Cloister, housing revitalization in the Limerick neighborhood, and commercial development in the California area. The interviewee then describes the relationship after 1985 between city government's Department of Neighborhoods and LCDC/Center for Neighborhoods including strategies to "serve" both the executive and legislative branches. Specifically, he elaborates on projects involving affordable housing and safe neighborhoods. Finally, Trawick discusses his work on an Olmsted memorial that led to the establishment of the Louisville's Olmsted Conservancy and closes with a description of the financial hard times at the Center for Neighborhoods that prompted his retirement.
City planning, Center for Neighborhoods (Louisville, Ky.), Historic preservation