KentuckyTri-State Treasures

Family Turns Former School Into a Destination Treasure

After construction of a new elementary school in West Louisville, KY, an effort was made by a mother-daughter duo to give the old school house new life.

Re-emerging as preservation station in 2014 providing rare antiques, food and entertainment. Co-owner Jennifer Higdon first explains the location and the confusion the Daviess County community causes visitors from outside the area.

“You are in the town of West Louisville, and it’s a strange name,” said Higdon. “Because everyone always asks, ‘why is this called West Louisville?’

“And people get confused sometimes when they come from far way to visit us. They say, ‘well I’m driving down HWY 64, and I’m looking for it. How far is it from Louisville? And were like ‘you’re about 125 miles west of Louisville, if you’re gonna find us.”

Once inside the 1930s, Style School House, shoppers will find former classrooms converted into retail space, a full-sized restaurant and the gymnasium.

And when you are ready to settle up, patrons pay for those items in the old principal’s office.

Higdon says, the history of the community is also preserved thanks to the efforts of area artist Rex Robinson, who’s mural still adorns along hallways with the former school, working with students to create the West Louisville tribute.

“What interesting about it is, the mural actually starts at your home,” said Higdon. “And it shows West Louisville and how West Louisville is on the map in Daviess County.

“Then it goes to the state of Kentucky, showing some of the things Kentucky is known for, then the United States, to the Earth, and to the Universe.”

Although there are no plans to cover up the mural, Higdon says there was an effort made in re-opening to restore the school’s lockers, classrooms, gymnasium and stage.

“The stage area was actually covered up with 16-foot steel studs, and drywall,” said Hidgon. “And they had put two classrooms up on the stage in the gym.

“Our family came in one day in about eight hours and took all those classroom walls out. Because we wanted the stage back for entertainment on Market Days.”

Market Days at preservation station happen several weekends each year featuring live music and more than 100 area vendors inside the now converted gymnasium.

Those with an appetite can still take full advantage of preservation station’s restaurant, open Tuesday through Saturday with a buffet on Sundays within the same cafeteria West Louisville students used until the last classes in 2011.

Higdon offers an update on the student’s most recent visit to their former school.

“The last graduating class of this school just recently graduated high school, and they all came out as a group together to tour the elementary school,” said Higdon.
“They love the fact that they fact that it’s still open and available for them to do that right before they graduated high school.

“It’s like, ‘there’s my former classroom, but it’s full of antiques now.’”

Preservation Station is open for business six days a week, packed full of nostalgia and bargain hunters in search of their very own, Tri-State Treasure.

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