The West Main District
The West Main District is one of the five districts in downtown Louisville. It is named after Main Street, the major east-west corridor through the downtown area. Its boundaries are 2nd Street on the east, Market Street on the south, 9th Street on the west, and the Ohio River on the north. Maintained by the Main Street Association, the district has historical, architectural, and cultural significance.
Main Street was the birthplace of Louisville, where the building of the city began in 1778. Three of five generations of buildings remain, and date from 1832 to 1984. This collection of historical buildings, many of which have their original cast-iron façades, is the second-largest in the United States, after the SoHo district in New York City.
The district's "Museum Row" contains seven major museums within a few blocks of each other. In addition, the district features the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, the Riverfront Plaza, a distillery, and a park.
The West Main District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Louisville City Hall
The Louisville City Hall originally housed the various offices of the city government of Louisville. However, after the merger of the City of Louisville and Jefferson County governments, it now houses some of the offices and chambers of the Louisville Metro Council.
The building was designed by local architect John Andrewartha, who was the winner of a design competion held in 1867. The design is a mixture of the Beaux-Arts, Second Empire, and Romanesque Revival styles of architecture. Construction began in 1870 and was completed in 1873. Indiana limestone was used in the construction of the city hall. The building's most notable architectural feature is its 195-foot (59-meter) four-faced clock tower. It was added to the city hall in 1876 after the original clock tower burned in 1875.
The Louisville City Hall has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Louisville Metro Hall
Formerly the called the Jefferson County Courthouse, Louisville Metro Hall was renamed after the merger of the City of Louisville and Jefferson County governments. Its primary function has changed from being the county courthouse to housing governmental administrative offices.
The building was designed by architect Gideon Shryock. His original plan called for a Doric portico with six columns and a cupola. After his design was amended by government authorities to include only a four-columned portico and no cupola, he resigned. The project was taken over by a second architect, Albert Fink. Construction started in 1837 and was completed in 1842. The building is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture.
At the time of its construction, it was hoped that Louisville would be chosen as the state capital, and that the building would serve as the state capitol building. However, after Frankfort was chosen to be the state capital, the building became the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Nowadays, two fine statues adorn Louisville Metro Hall. A statue of Henry Clay by Joel Hart is featured in the rotunda, and a statue of Thomas Jefferson by Moses Ezekiel is displayed near the front steps.
Louisville Metro Hall now mainly contains the offices of the Mayor of Louisville Metro, but it also houses the offices of the Jefferson County Clerk and the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court Justice for the Louisville district.
Louisville Metro Hall has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Louisville Water Tower
The Louisville Water Tower functioned as the city's first water-pumping station. Completed in 1856, it is the oldest ornamental water tower in the world.
During the 1830s and 1840s, Louisville acquired the nickname of "the graveyard of the west" because polluted water from tainted private wells caused epidemics of cholera and typhoid, killing thousands. The Kentucky legislature formed the Louisville Water Company in 1854 to correct the problem. The answer was to build a water tower that would pump pure water from the area's underground aquifer and then distribute it through pipes to the city's residents.
The tower was designed by architects Theodore Scowden and his assistant Charles Hermany. Their design included a 183-foot (56-meter) Doric standpipe that arises out of a Corinthian portico surrounding its base. The pumping station is disguised as a Greek temple.
Upon its completion, the Louisville Water Tower was capable of pumping 12,000,000 gallons (45,424,944 liters) of water every 24 hours. The water was then distributed through a system of 26 miles (42 kilometers) of pipes to homes and businesses throughout the city.
In 1890, the water tower was heavily damaged by a tornado. Although it was repaired, by that time it was becoming inadequate to handle the water needs of a growing city. It ceased operations in 1909 after a modern pumping station and new reservoirs were built elsewhere in Louisville.
Nowadays, the Water Tower houses the Louisville Visual Art Association. Founded in 1909, it is the region's oldest contemporary visual art organization.
The Louisville Water Tower and its pumping station have been designated a National Historic Landmark.
The Locust Grove Log Cabin
The Locust Grove Log Cabin, dating from about 1810, is now located on the grounds of the Locust Grove House. It was moved from the neighboring property in 1961 to serve as the residence of the first curator of the Locust Grove House and grounds.
Log cabins like this represent the type of homes constructed by early settlers in Kentucky.
Watch the Blue Grass Festivals in Kentucky
Kentucky is very big in Blue Grass Festivals. It is kind of the tradition of the people. The state is very popular in their blue grass music.
The blue grass music is very American and the instrument that they use is a banjo. The History of Blue Grass Music is very amazing as it dates back in 1600.
While we were living in the midwest before, we made sure that we don't miss this festival as it is very unique and awesome experience. We drove to Kentucky for their Blue Grass Festivals which are held every year. We also go there for their county fairs.
Click here for the Guide of Blue Grass Festivals in Kentucky.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
There is a Museum of Cavalry and Armor at the George Patton Museum on Fort Knox. For those who are interested in the history of Army tanks and other military memorabilia dating back to WWI, this might be an interesting option.
For more information on the Patton Museum go to:
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We were a very proud and happy family. Lucky to be able to fly down and be with Christopher when he finished his time in Boot Camp.
I'm glad he did his four years.. never came into harm's way... and came home to us safely.
For all the daughters and sons who are still serving in the military, I wish them God's speed to come home safe... and proud.
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Better look smart!
All lined up for their inspection, my son was straight as an arrow... last on the left side of the pic. They all looked like babies rather than men who were prepared to go out and defend the country. The discipline is harsh, but it gives a sense of accomplishment and teaches you to focus. The Army was a choice our son made for himself, and the experience helped him to grow.
Tour the Corvette Assembly Plant
Corvettes are Assembled a the Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. Bowling Green is about halfway between Louisville and Nashville on I-65. The tour is very interesting and only costs $5.00 a person for admission!
While you are waiting, you'll see a couple of films on the Corvette in a waiting area/gift shop. The room is also covered with Corvette Memorabilia. During the tour you'll see the cars go from Frame to finished product then watch some of the testing they do for quality. The tour itself takes about an hour depending on how busy they are and how many people are asking questions.
The Cadillac XLR is also made here and depending on production you may see a piece of that assembly line as well. Unfortunately it was not running when we toured so all we got was a glimpse of the line from a distance.
There are some restrictions: No photos, no cell phones or PDAs, no kids under 7, no purses or bags, and no open toed shoes. Leave that stuff behind though and you can enjoy the tour! This would be a GREAT tour for a kid who is 7 or older!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Horse Racing, Casino, People Watching
If you enjoy outdoor people watching and Southern culture, you have got to experience Derby week in Louisville, KY. The KY Derby is preceded on a Friday by the KY Oaks. You may want to check on Church Hill Downs on that day also. There is a casino (Caesar's Indiana) across the Ohio river from downtown Louisville that you may want to visit. It is located in an area called New Albany and it has a large and well organized poker room for a river boat casino. To the South of Louisville are several whiskey distilleries that host visits from coneiseurs as myself and the US gold reserves are at Fort Knox, an army base southwest of Louisville.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Casino and Gambling
See the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Hodgenville
After we had seen the birthplace cabin and the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln, we stopped in the small town of Hodgenville, Ky, to look at the statue of Lincoln in the town square. It is by Adolph A. Weinman and I thought it was quite impressive.Related to:
- Historical Travel
See Knob Creek Farm, Lincoln's Boyhood Home
About 10 miles from the Abe Lincoln National Birthplace Memorial is the small cabin that Abe Lincoln actually grew up in. It's located on a small creek called Knob Creek and has a split rail fence around it with the farming land in back along the creek. Abe went to a one room school house near by and the family attended an anti-slavery church. His baby brother Thomas died here as an infant and Abe almost died in the creek. They were evicted from here over a land dispute and so then moved to Indiana. That's ironic since they left his birthplace cabin also over a land dispute when he was two. We looked for birds at the back of the property along the creek and saw Yellow-throated and White-eyed Vireos, Worm-eating Warbler, Indigo Buntings, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Purple Martins. We had seen a Scarlet Tanager at the Birthplace Memorial so these wooded historical monuments are good areas to use to bird watch.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- National/State Park
Visit Abe Lincoln's Birthplace National Park
Near Hodgenville, Ky. we went to the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. There is a museum here along with a row of small log cabins and the Nancy Lincoln Inn but the cabin Abe was born in is inside a Memorial Building up on a hill. The Memorial Building was dedicated by President Taft and it was established as a national park in 1916. There are 56 steps of pink granite in the front which represent l step for each year of his life. The fact that he was the 16th president is shown by the 16 squares on the ceiling of the memorial and the 16 windows. The cabin inself is very plain. He lived here until he was 2 years old when the family was forced to move about 10 miles away to Knob Creek because of a land dispute. In the museum is Abe's grandfather's Bible and also a section of the old famous Boundary oak said to mark the boundary of the property. Near the memorial is Sinking Springs where they got their water. The entire area is surrounded by a split rail fence such as was used in his time.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Historical Travel
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National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky
This isn't just for the guys! Over 75 Corvettes are housed inside this 68,000 sq. ft. Museum and they aren't all red! This year there is a raffel going on for an Artic White Vette Convertable, only 500 tickest will be sold at $250 each. If you can't afford the raffel ticket there is a great store inside the museum thats sells Corvette jackets and such.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Stayed here while in town for a boat show free parking, and great weekend rates* discounted apply...more
The sleeping accommodations at the hotel were average. The king bed was reasonably comfortable, but...more
We crossed into the Eastern Time Zone, and got gas in Indiana before we crossed into Kentucky....more
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