Rendering shows Webbs’ impact on Lexington

Developer Dudley Webb has been irritated by some of the anonymous comments readers have left on my blog about his CentrePointe development. What really set him off were the ones criticizing the previous buildings he and his brother, Donald, have added to Lexington’s skyline.

The Webb Companies‘ motto is “Developing Tomorrow’s Landmarks.” And the company is headquartered in perhaps its most distinctive local project, Lexington Financial Center, better known as the “Big Blue Building.” At 410 feet, it is Lexington’s tallest building.

Webb sent me an interesting artist’s rendering that groups the many buildings he and his brother have built in Lexington since they moved here from the Hot Spot community of Letcher County several decades ago. The buildings are grouped into a single village set in a rolling bluegrass landscape.

“As they used to say back in Hot Spot, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and this one best tells this story,” Webb wrote in an email.

Speaking of CentrePointe, Webb and representatives of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation and the citizens group Preserve Lexington met Thursday afternoon.

“This was the first of what we hope will be several meetings to discuss possibilities for compromise related to the proposed development,” Preserve Lexington said in a statement. No other details were released.

On March 4, Webb announced plans to build CentrePointe as a 40-story hotel, condo and retail development that would cover a block in the center of Lexington bounded by Main, Vine, Upper and Limestone streets. He later scaled back the tower to 35 stories.

Critics say CentrePointe would be too tall, too massive, would not promote street-level activity and would look out of place amid the buildings that surround it. Many people also are upset that Webb proposes to demolish 14 structures on the block that date as far back as 1826 and house several popular night spots and The Dame music hall. (Click on the rendering to enlarge it.)

An update: Dudley Webb on Friday clarified that this rendering was done in 1986. Since then, all of these projects were completed, except for Lake Lexington. The company has done a few others since then, too.

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