A Window into America's Past
Old Louisville Guide
Feedback and discussion 1999
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Has Old Louisville reached it's potential?  Please let us know your opinions on the status of our neighborhood.    What, if anything, do you think needs to be changed?  Are there any problems that have not been addressed?  Do you have suggestions for the improvement of Old Louisville?  Do you have suggestions or comments about this web site?   People are listening! Go to our Feedback Form and speak out! 

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2004(1) 2004(2) 2005(1) 2005(2) 2005(3) 2005(4) 2005(5) 2006 current

Posted by a Louisville resident



It's truly a deficiency in the site.  

Everything you need to know can be found at the Louisville Landmarks Commission (try Debbie Richards).  They were always located in the Old Fire Station across from the Hall of Justice on Jefferson Street, but now I see they're listed in the telephone book at 600 W. Main with a telephone number 574-4140.  Most of the restrictions pertain to exterior changes.  For interior remodeling, standard city codes apply.  Exterior changes basically follow the same philosophy as the National Parks Service guidelines which you can find at http://www2.cr.nps.gov/tps/tax/rhb/index.htm .  Of course, it is always best for the future value of an historic property to try to keep as close as pragmatic to the interior recommendations as well.  The buildings that retain as much of the original historical character as possible seem to be enjoying the highest resale values.   On our planning board for the web site will be specifics as they apply to Old Louisville.  When this is posted will depend on when we get the time to complete the research.  
Posted by a Louisville resident

Your pages on the "bombing of Louisville" are amazing. I did not know that this city used to be so . . . grand.

Sadly, it happened all around the country.  Louisville is often behind on trends.  Maybe that's why we still have an Old Louisville at all.

Posted by a former Old Louisville resident
Betty Marlow

Your website is truly impressive and I browse it frequently to reminisce about my Old Louisville childhood. I do, however, have one tiny correction to make regarding the information on DuPont Manual High School at 2nd and Lee Streets. In the interest of historical accuracy, let me advise that in the 1940's, the building (Halleck Hall)housed both Louisville Girls High School (3rd floor) and Louisville Junior High School(1st and 2nd floors). In 1950, when Louisville high schools became coed, the entire building became Manual High School. I don't believe the building was ever shared by both high schools, as stated on your site. Thanks again for the aesthetically enriching and informative site. Best of luck.

Your revised information has been incorporated in the page http://www.oldlouisville.com/Spring/Spring2ndb.htm.  Many thanks for the correction.

Posted by an Old Louisville resident

I moved here when my company relocated its corporate hdq to the city. Many of us were told about beautiful Old Louisville, and a few of us settled in the neighborhood. I love it here, but the grocery store situation IS out of control. After numerous negative incidents at both the Kroger and Winn Dixie, I decided that grocery shopping is a hassel in even the best of stores, so why add to my misery with filthy stores, no carts, too few checkers and pan handlers in the parking lots. I actually drive to the nice Krogers in Clarksville, IN before I'd go to this one. Someone should open a nice, clean, upscale store like Burger's.

Alas, our shopping experiences are truly lacking in Old Louisville.  One group, the Old Louisville Business and Professional Association is diligently working to improve that and are making strides, as can be seen through several ventures within Old Louisville.  And they promise to have a web site up soon for more info, perhaps in conjunction with OldLouisville.com.

Posted by an Old Louisville resident

I have lived and shopped in this neighborhood for years. However, I have reached my threshold of pain regarding the local Winn Dixie and Kroger stores. The stores and parking lots are dirty and strewn with litter; the stock leaves much to be desired, short-staffing results in very long delays at what few lanes are open, and the employees are inattentive to the customers, un-trained, and often rude. I shop at the Kroger on Poplar Level Rd and at the Goss Ave Winn Dixie. It pains me to take my money out of the neighborhood, but until these local outlets get it together, leave the neighborhood I will! And finally, MUST there be an abandoned grocery cart in every Old Louisville alley and on every OL street corner? We should demand and expect higher levels of product and service from these two stores.

Posted by a Louisville resident

What a fantastic site! I have always been proud of being from Louisville but what a great site showcasing some of beautiful old homes. Even though I have lived here my whole life in the Highlands I never realized what beautiful homes are in Old Louisville but with one nice weekend left this year I will try one of the walking tour this weekend. THANK YOU

Posted by an Old Louisville resident
Sherri Lynn Grey

Hello, my name is Sherri, and I moved to old Louisville in February of this year. I moved here from Columbus, Ohio, where we have a very small neighborhood that has original victorian homes called German Village. It is very expensive to live there, and when I rented my apartment on 2nd Street I felt very lucky that the cost living is so much cheaper!

When I first moved into my apartment on 2nd between Ormsby and Oak, I was somewhat disgusted. You see I didn't have much time to look for a place when I moved here for a job. I had to settle for something less of my expectations. Luckily my landlord allowed to paint and decorate my apartment as I saw fit. The inside of my spacious apartment is beautiful now, but the yard... YUCK! It was a mess. You couldn't even walk through the yard without stepping on fallen brances, and the evergreen shrub next to the porch was way overgrown and had collected several years of trash and leaves. The side yard where a parking lot is for the Kling Center had overgrown and out of control weeds. The yard was full of weeds, and hardly any grass.I decided to take it upon myself to clean it up. Another tennant and myself cut the evergreen down to its 3 stumps, and we dug it up... roots and all! We dug up all of the weeds and dying shrubs along the side of the house. I planted grass seed in the front and side yard. Just last week we went to Franks Nursery and purchased 6 shrubs, mulch, and over 300 bulbs of tulips, dafodils, iris', jonquils, and several others types of flowers to sprout up early spring. Our neighbors thought we were nuts considering that we are just renting. None the less, Amy and I like to take pride in where we live. Actually our neighbor thanked us for cleaning up the yard, he said that it makes his yard look better. Now that we have it all done, we step back and look at the yard, we can't believe the difference we have made. We are kind of kicking ourselves in the butt for not taking before and after pictures! The funny thing of it is that the owner now has a for sale sign in the front yard, a yard that she has not maintained in God knows how long.

I guess the reason why I am putting this message on the forum is because I hope that it inspires others to clean up their yards as well, whether you are a renter or not. If you are a renter and the landlord doesn't take care of the yard, ask them if they will reimburse you for any purchases you make for shrubs, flowers, mulch, etc... That's what I did, and it worked! Oh, another thing that I see as an improvement for beauty and safety is that 2nd Street now has the "old" black lamp posts along the sidewalk every other house.

Old Louisville is a beautiful city, with beautiful homes and great potential. Lets all pull together and make something happen!

Thanks! Sherri Lynn Grey

P.S. The website is wonderful! I saw a white truck going down 2nd one day that had the address on the back window. Not very many people know about this website, is there any way to advertise this site? Now all of my friends back home in Columbus, Ohio can go to this website and see where I live! I think some of them are envious because not very many cities have a website like this! Good Job!

Many thanks for the kudos, and thanks to you and others like you for your work to brighten up this beautiful neighborhood.  

Posted by a former Old Louisville resident

It's great to come across your website. But I want to take this opportunity to make a statement about the neighborhood that is true, as we all know by walking the streets, and somewhat disconcerting. I now live in Ft. Lauderdale, but was there for over 6 years. The greatest thing about Old Louisville is the step one takes back a half a century or more when one enters. The worst part is the fear that night brings. OL is no urban slum by any means, but it borders and is infiltrated by some questionable locals. I am curious as to what owners (including business folk) and renters alike have planned for this. During the art fair, I was always so proud (and fortunate) to live on S. Third St., right in the heart, but then there were times I would drive past Sixth and feel quite dismayed. Go a few streets east and it's similar. I know from working in the medical field there that Louisville has an outrageous homeless and indigent population. It almost seemed that at one street north there was a cut-off, where these people did not venture past, me thinks around KY, but there were always a few. And as I said, after dark, you never really knew. This leads to my biggest issue, where are the owners? I'm not talking about the real estate moguls, I'm talking live-in owners who care about the community. The area needs to entice people to move in to live, to stay, with family, et al. I loved Old Louisville, I hated to be frightened of it. I hate that it frightened others. I know that there are people who care, like you perhaps, but there is litte voice. The city has a responsibility. Bring back the safety and quaintness of half a century or more ago. And yes, juice up the small cafe, bookstore and restaurant business. It stunk to have to go towards Cherokee to feel "artsy." (ehem.)

Agreed.  There is work constantly being done for improvement, and ever so slowly that work reaps fruit.  It was but 20 years ago that Third Street was like what you describe at the fringes.  Old Louisville is being reclaimed inch by inch.

Posted by an Old Louisville resident
Scott Conder

I love the site. It is obvious that you took your time and gathered as much information as possible. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. I am a recent addition to the Old Louisville area. I am currently in the process of renovating a "shotgun" near 6th and Magnolia. I was hoping to see some information pertaining to building codes, ordanances, etc., (i.e. what color can i paint my house). An technical information area for the residents of the Old Louisville area would round out your website as not only a wonderful place to get history, pictures, and events information, but also a handy resource for those of us that are "knee deep" in trying to preserve the history. Thanks for taking the time to read my letter of suggestion.


Scott Conder 1434 S. 6th Street Old Louisville

That is all in the works.  Ah but for the luxury of time to get it together!

Posted by a former Old Louisville resident
Betty (Jeffers) Marlow

A native Louisvillian, I grew up in Old Louisville in the 30's and '40's and am currently working on a memoir of life there. Your website was just what I needed for further inspiration, since I live so far away now and only visit every couple years. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with your lovely pictures of those streets and buildings where I and my friends lived, still so poignantly familiar to me. Maybe the neighborhood was, even then, mostly rooming houses and apartments, but the difference was that the landlords lived in one of the apartments! It was a real neighborhood with corner drugstores, grocers, neighborhood movie houses and dry cleaners. Kids like me walked to school, and had fun exploring the alleys, with no fear. Maybe the only way to restore it at all is to make it very trendy and upscale and if so, so be it. But it once was just a nice place to live for hardworking, respectable folks, happy to have survived the Depression and toughing it through WWII. It thrills me to hear of people my grandchildren's age with such interest, devoting their considerable talents to the cause. Thank you, thank you. I wish I could do more to help.

If you ever wish to share your memoirs that we may share them with others, we'd love to do it!

And during the Christmas season 1999, the memoirs came! Many Thanks!
You may read them at http://www.oldlouisville.com/thewayitwas/.

Posted by a visitor to Old Louisville
mary lashley

I wish you would put more info on the old cememtarys on your on line information. I am trying to find some stuff onn the Cavehill cememtary an cant get no where. Is there anyway you can help get info for us folks who search them records.

We tried to email you but the note was returned. There is only one cemetary in Old Louisville (on Floyd Street) and contains but three graves. (Fort George)  Cave Hill is a massive subject in itself, though worth the effort at some point (when we have time!!).  Even though it is well outside "Old Louisville", most of Old Louisville's most prominent residents from Victorian times "live" there now.  In the meantime you might try:
or call the very helpful staff at (502)451-5630 (502)584-8363 

Dee Bratcher

Please send me some information regarding the tours, mostly driving. My elderly parents will be visiting and we may visit Eureka Springs. Send to:

Dee Bratcher 208 N. Riverbend Rd Alma, AR 72921

Posted by an Old Louisville resident
Jim Hopkins

I'd also like to see more restaurants, stores, coffee shops, etc., in the neighborhood. But before that can happen, we need to patronize the businesses that already are here.

For example, I shop at the Winn-Dixie at Fourth and Oak, partly because it's convenient, and partly because I want to support a neighborhood business. Yes, it's far from the best grocery store in the area, but I can't expect Winn-Dixie to improve the location if I don't shop there.

My point is this: I don't see very many of my immediate neighbors shopping in this store, and I don't think it's because I tend to shop only in the evening.

I'd be VERY interested in other residents' thoughts on this subject.

You make a very good point.  

Posted by an Old Louisville resident

I love your website. I placed an ad recently in your real estate for sale section. My partner and I have bought and renovated 4 beautiful buildings in OL, all which are rental properties except for our private home. I agree with the writer who bemoans the condition of some of the rental property in our lovely neighborhood. It is unfortunate that absentee landlords do not seem to care about the condition of their buildings. As for us, we have enjoyed bringing our buildings back to their original splendor, and of course, because of this, we are able to collect top rents for this market. Finally, we too would love to see some of the amenities and services that Sandy Mullins mentions...I believe that as we attract the type of residents who demand and desire those things, then they will come. Thank you for a great forum and a lovely website!


Help. I need information as soon as possible. I'm wondering if there are any vinyl fences anywhere in the historic district. Please call 847-433-9005 if you are aware of any. MUCH THANKS!

mark brandt

help!!! i am looking for any information (pictures clipings, etc.) from a company called the jefferson island salt co. my grandfather painted their logo / sign on a lot of barns and store sides in the 1949-1954 time frame, any info would be great...thanks mkbtnvols@aol.com

ps love the website

Philip Bolin

Hello. I am on contract with the Actors Theatre of Louisville and am looking for housing for 1-3 people for 10 months. Rent ranging from $200-300 per person is ideal. I plan on moving in on September 1, 1999. Please email me with related information. Thank you. Philip Bolin

Posted by an Old Louisville resident
Mark Mosier

I think your website is great. I love to see people permote this area. As we all know you have to take small steps, but you are headed in the right direction. I own many apartment buildings, and also live, in the Old Louisville area, and work constantly at it. Keep up the good work.

I saw the website number on the back of a pick-up truck.

Posted by an Old Louisville resident
Tina Moulton

I agree with Kevin and Sandy wholeheartedly! As a resident of Old Louisville, albeit in an apartment home, I, too, would love to see an expansion of services that depicted the charm and character of our area. I admit, however, that I don't know enough about the zoning regulations in our area to know how restrictive they are, and whether or not that has been the reason for the lack of such amenities.

I do have intimate experience with landlords that do not care for the upkeep and character of the buildings they own, however. This saddens me. In our building, for example, there is obviously a "status quo" mentality when it comes to maintenance. Since the new owners took possession, even regular cleaning of the common areas happens with increasing irregularity. In a building that could be magnificent and beautiful, I am sometimes embarrassed to invite guests through the hallways. The lawn is not cared for in a timely fashion, and the grass sometimes gets knee-high before it is tended.

In an area as magnificent as Old Louisville, a place I've felt more at home at than any other home I've had since childhood, I am distressed that we can't force better care of multiple-family dwellings than this. Not sure what can be done, but I am interested in your comments!!

So glad I found this site; all because the Inn at the Park sent me their on-line newsletter with this address in it! Thanks to Innkeepers Mullins!!!

Posted by a visitor to Old Louisville
Glen Wheat

What a great site for a Great City -

Thank goodness for the few who labor for the pleasure of many others they have never met.

My last visit to the area was in 1991 - Much too long to stay away -

This site has given me the desire to be there.

I feel a trip the the Old City is upcoming.

Thank you for your many hours of hard work to produce this wonderful site.

Continue the effort, it is appreciated.

Posted by an Old Louisville resident
Sandy Mullins

I have to agree with Kevin Woo! Old Louisville has all the necessary ingredients to make it a world class neighborhood and tourist destination - EXCEPT- the basic services and amenities. We desperately need restaurants of every genre, coffee shops, nifty little shopping establishments and specialty shops in various nooks and crannies of the area which will delight visitors who happen upon them during their sightseeing adventure in our city. We have just as much to offer in architectural beauty and history as cities like Charleston and Savannah. Unfortunately, we do not enjoy the support of our city administration and local citizenry in the same manner as the aforementioned cities. Let's all get our thinking caps on and generate a little enthusiasm! Our diamond is not "in the rough", she just needs a little polishing and TLC!

Posted by a Louisville resident

Very impressive website... the old photos with the "modern-day" comparison is a great idea! Good job.

Posted by a former Old Louisville resident
Kevin Woo

I would like to begin by applauding those responsible for the construction and maintenance of such a detailed and informative web site dedicated to Old Louisville. It is worth noting that my discovery of this wonderful web site came at a very interesting time. It was Derby Day and having been reduced to tears earlier that day by hearing My Old Kentucky Home, I decided to go on-line and see if I could quell at least electronically, the surging nostalgia and home sickness inside. Before long I found my way to the Old Louisville home page and with that, competing memories of pain and joy burst to the fore. Before I go any further I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Kevin Woo, I'm 26 years old and currently living in New York City. I was born and raised in Louisville and also graduated from UofL. Growing up in the suburbs, it wasn't until college that I discovered what a true architectural gem Old is. I've had the pleasure of living in the Highlands, downtown Louisville and Old Louisville, the latter obviously being my favorite. Last week as I perused the web site, I noticed something that indicated one of the universal truths of Louisville still held sway; things don't change. I concede that assessment may be overly harsh, but for such an incredible urban neighborhood to remain underserved in the areas of basic amenities is absurd. I spent all week debating how far I would go in offering my opinions on the neighborhood. I came to the coclusion that if people are as passionate about Old Louisville as I am, then only good things can come from beginning a healthy and if need be heated dialouge. So here goes. Living in New York has exposed me to some of the most incredible urban neighborhoods imaginable and I can say with complete conviction that Old Louisville surpasses many that I've seen here, at least physically and architecturally. In the area of amenities, however, Old Louisville fails miserably. Therein lies the dichotomy. At this point I would like to humbly profess my ignorance of the history of the neighborhood as well as the current zoning and regulatory conditions. Any information would be greatly appreciated. It could very well be that Old Louisville was once a thriving "community" where residents could walk and obtain almost everything they needed. I doubt that the average citizen had to drive to the Highlands or Crescent Hill for basic entertainment or amenities. Then again I could be totally wrong in my assumption, it wouldn't be the first time. My point very simply is that the quality of life could be greatly improved if entrepeneurs were allowed to use their creativity in the area. Of course this could only be done with certain caveats and restrictions in place. Once again from my perspective there is a demand for certain types of businesses and services in the area. As with many things that are frustrating in Louisville with regard to potential, things must be kept in a local perspective. I am keenly aware that you cannot impose Manhattan on Louisville nor should you. Indeed many of New York's great neighborhoods are losing much of it's historic charm as chains like Starbucks and Barnes and Noble canabalize the mom and pop stores. That would be a tragedy were it to happen in Old Louisville. This potential debate could also be a microcosm for a debate on life in Louisville as a whole. That is not my purpose but if it happens so be it. I am very interseted in everyone's responses. First I wonder of people that actually see this site how many of them actually have something to say? Secondly the responses themselves will be interesting in that they will be indicative of whether or not any detectable change in mentality has occurred, or if people continue to enjoy the status quo. I look forward to reading your responses.

Kevin Woo

Read earlier feedback:  1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
2004(1) 2004(2) 2005(1) 2005(2) 2005(3) 2005(4) 2005(5) 2006 current


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