The Old Louisville Journal

A Monthly Summary of News and Events in Old Louisville
Published by OLIC, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Corporation

Volume 23, Issue 4

April 2001

Old House U

There is some discussion about an "Old House U". This would be a series of help clinics specific to the challenges of "old" homes as well as lectures and discussions about Old Louisville. We would appreciate your input. Please call the Information Center if you are interested or have an opinion regarding this program.

April 14th Clean up – Central Park

Get your shovels, wheelbarrows and pruning equipment warmed up! The annual April Central Park Cleanup is almost here. On Saturday, April 14th at 8:30 a.m., all members of the community are invited to meet at the Information Center to give Central Park a spring-cleaning.  The Parks Department provides the seed, mulch and materials for the cleanup and the community provides the manpower. This is an invitation to all individuals, associations, organizations and affiliations to assist in the beautification of our park.

A hearty barbecue lunch will be served at noon for all volunteers. Herb Fink coordinates this effort each spring and reminds us that the work will be done rain or shine. Please plan to join all your neighbors bright and early on April 14th!

There will be sign up sheets for the cleanup at your regular association meeting. You can also phone Sandy (6389716) or Herb (6356785) to join the cleanup event! 


Did You Receive Your Newsletter?

Do you belong to a Neighborhood association? Have you paid your dues? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you should receive a copy of this newsletter monthly. If you are not receiving the newsletter, then check with your association. When the membership is updated then the association should notify the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council. Our membership files are outdated and need to be updated. If you would prefer to receive a newsletter by email then please call the Information Center and advise us of your preference.

Do you have news or an idea or comment to share? If so call or email or write to us.
     Phone: 6355244 Fax: 6355245
     Address: 1340 S. 4
th Street in Central Park Louisville, KY 40208

Chair Notes

Welcome to Springtime. Is it possible that one quarter of the year has already slipped by? The following is no April Fool’s joke: I plan to inform you each month in this space what will be happening – more or less – at the next one or two meetings. I’m saying this at the outset so you’ll keep reading.

To look back a moment before we look forward…….The March 15 general meeting of the Council was devoted almost entirely to the subject of cleaning up the neighborhood and keeping it that way. Among the ideas proposed and discussed, the following seemed to hold the most promise:

§ Increased signage informing people of litter laws up and the penalties for violating them, followed by enforcement. I’ve talked with Major Assef of the Fifth District Police and not received much encouragement that this will make a difference, still, the group seemed firmly in favor of giving it a try.

§ Continuing education. Perhaps holding an Alley Action workshop or its equivalent once a quarter. Continued emphasis on the Alley Action program.

§ A closer look at a Development District. This seems to have gone a long way toward cleaning up Downtown. It would require a property tax levy of about $0.18 per hundred dollars of valuation. This would provide us with continuous help in keeping the neighborhood clean. (There was a great deal of dissatisfaction, for instance, that at present, the City can street sweep only 34 times per year.)  An alternative might be some type of fund set up by the neighborhood to defray the cost of additional labor, but the Development District idea would undoubtedly prove more reliable. 

§ A possibility, suggested by  Rudolph Davidson, Director of Solid Waste Management Systems, of a cost sharing arrangement between his department and neighborhood associations, to place more of the new design litter containers at streetside. 

§ At least one strong, reliable contact in each association to serve as a liaison to the Council and supervisor of cleanup efforts in his or her area of the neighborhood.

§ Some sort of cash incentive and award program set up by the Council.

Other ideas will be very welcome. A schedule of meetings for the new committee headed by Rhonda Williams will be published next month.

I and perhaps other Council representatives will be attending neighborhood association meetings on a regular basis for the rest of the year. I want to listen, find out which issues are most important to you, and how we can help you address them. Finally, as promised, there will be a special meeting on April 11 to discuss the Ninth Street Extension, its impact on Old Louisville, and how we might be able to use it in effecting other development goals. We are putting together a panel with representatives of every agency that plays a role in this project, as well as others with expertise or experience that bears on the subject. COME if this issue concerns you in any way. (And it should!) See you there!

Dick Callaway

4th and Flowers

Thank you Fourth Street Association! New flower beds were added between 3 rd and 4 th streets at Hill. The urns were also freshly painted! Please let us know when your association is working to beautify our neighborhoods!


Letter from the Editor

You may have noticed a change in this newsletter. We have decreased the size of the newsletter, the number of photographs and the size of the typeface to control the costs associated with production of the newsletter. What you do not see are the articles that we had planned for this issue. Ad sales and contributions make this newsletter possible. We hope to solve this problem soon. You can help too. If you have a business, then advertise with us. If you receive more than one copy of the newsletter, let us know so that we can eliminate the extra mailing. If you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail, let us know. Finally, any contributions are gratefully accepted.

It is our mission to make this the best newsletter possible. We want to keep all of our neighbors aware of the events and happenings in Old Louisville. It is an exciting time to be living in this area. Please let us know what is happening in your neighborhood. Good news is best, but we want to hear problems and concerns also. The "Letters to the Editor" column has been absent for some time due to lack of correspondence. We have received a letter from a neighbor who had questioned the omission of a reference to recognition of "Black History Month" on our calendar. A response to that concern is necessary. Due to space constraints we did not publish that letter. I apologize for that. In answer to the question of the omission, our newsletter has reported events that are local. If there had been notice of local events they would have been placed on the calendar. We will certainly acknowledge events if they are called in. In the past, the newsletter has not made note of national awareness months. If the neighbors would like to see more of that type of recognition, then we would like to hear from you. Let us know what you want to see in these pages.

Apologies to Gary Kleier, Gayle and Herb Warren. These neighborhood business owners were to be featured in this newsletter. They will be here next month.

Sandy Barber, Editor

Community Events and Happenings

Crane House
Phone: (502) 635-2240

Filson Club

Monthly Meetings Calendar

Second Street Association


This month we highlight the Second Street Neighborhood Association, or the SSNA as they are often called. Centrally located in the heart of Old Louisville, Second Street homes have become one of the focal points of an impressive renovation and restoration effort. Bounded by Broadway and Cardinal Blvd., it is difficult to imagine the once blighted condition suffered by so many of these splendid homes. 

The SSNA was brought to life in 1973 under the auspices of the Neighborhood Development Corp. with guidance from Mae Salyers, NDC Director, and long-term resident of Saint James Court. In September 1976, the Association was incorporated as a non-profit institution. Soon after its formation, the SSNA found itself embroiled in a major fight when the city announced that Second Street would be widened during the construction of Noe Middle School. Under the city’s plan, all trees and planting strips would be removed. The SSNA organized demonstrations and a letter writing campaign that eventually forced the city to back down thus leaving the trees and grassy strips that neighbors enjoy today. Another early issue facing the SSNA was the infamous Rathskellar at Second and Magnolia. Known as "a hangout for hoodlums and undesirables" the Rathskellar was eventually closed and replaced with Scheler’s Market. SSNA members assisted with the market design so it would blend in with the historic character of the neighborhood. 

The Association continued to fight for improvements during the ‘80s. Working closely with the city, Second Street took pride in the installation of new sidewalks and trees. Another major concern of the neighborhood in the early years was a blighted area just south of Magnolia Avenue that contained several dilapidated and vacant storefronts. The shocking death of young girl in one of the buildings provided the impetus to finally have them torn down. The SSNA asked that the vacant land be turned into park and recruited  the JC’s and Community Development Cabinet to provide funding and backing for a new park. The result was "Magnolia Park," which was dedicated in April 1981 "to the children of Old Louisville." The city agreed to build the park, but there was no money for routine maintenance. The SSNA overcame this final hurdle by signing an agreement with the city that Association members would maintain Magnolia Park with plantings, weeding, cleaning, mowing, watering, etc. For ten years, neighbors took weekly turns mowing and working in the park. Probably for this reason, the Magnolia Park gazebo came to symbolize the can-do  spirit of the Association and is used even today in the official logo of the SSNA. 

A long-time dream of SSNA members, like many other neighborhood groups, was the installation of Victorian period lighting. For 25 years, Association members volunteered and toiled at various fundraisers, including chili suppers, selling sweatshirts, parking cars, holding plant sells, hosting garden tours, etc. Often earning a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a year, the money was saved for the day when the project could become a reality. Originally, leasing lights from LG&E was considered, but it was obvious that the Association’s income could not long support a leasing plan. Then the Third Street Association established another model by purchasing and installing their own lights. Using this model and a matching grant through Alderman Greg Handy, the Association purchased and installed sidewalk lighting along the 1200, 1300, and 1400 blocks of Second Street. Begun in 1999 the project was finished this year and is now a beautiful reality.

Like each neighborhood association in Old Louisville, the SSNA has its own character and unique activities that define the organization. At the beginning of 2001, SSNA membership, including businesses and organizations, stood at 132. Many members maintain their membership even after moving away. For this reason, SSNA claims members not only in Goshen, Fairdale, and Prospect but also as far away as Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and Arizona. One of the reasons that the SSNA continually attracts new members is the distribution of a monthly newsletter. The SSNA publishes and distributes over 350 newsletters nine times a year to residents in the Second Street neighborhood. Only the Council has a larger newsletter distribution. 

For over ten years, the SSNA has sponsored a springtime Bedding Plant Sale. Although the sale raises a few dollars, the Association says this activity is primarily a beautification project and a convenience for neighbors to buy  high quality nursery plants delivered right to our neighborhood for easy pickup. 

For at least 20 years, the Association has sponsored a neighborhood cookout in June to honor Police Officers of the Fifth District and local Firefighters. A couple years ago, the event was expanded to include City Sanitation workers as well. This event typically draws over a hundred neighbors and guests and has been highlighted in the Courier Journal. Each year an Officer of the Fifth District is selected for special recognition, as "Officer of Year."

The Association sponsors at least two annual street cleanups in the spring and fall. The Association takes this opportunity to trim tree limbs, maintain Magnolia Park, and pick up litter around the neighborhood. The SSNA has twice won the city’s Brightside Clean Block Contest for its efforts. The $1000 monetary awards have been reinvested into the neighborhood by purchasing several benches and urns that can now be found along First and Second Streets.

Other activities sponsored by the SSNA include the placement of hundreds of American flags throughout the neighborhood to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. In August, the SSNA sponsors a neighborhoodwide yard sale at no charge to its residents. Sometime in the late fall or early winter the SSNA hires crews to remove all the leaves from sidewalks and gutters along the Second Street corridor.

Second Streeters are a very sociable group. After every membership meeting, members gather for a pitch-in pot-luck dinner at someone’s house. In late October, the SSNA hosts its annual Halloween Party, where neighbors and children try to outdo themselves with costumes and unusual food dishes. The annual Holiday Party in December is always well attended by both neighbors and guests. Adults are attracted by Jim Saling’s famous eggnog while the kids eagerly await Santa’s arrival. 

To support these activities the Association must sponsor several fundraisers each year. The most important of these are the garden tour and St. James Art Show projects. This year will mark the 8th Hidden Treasures Garden Tour, scheduled for July 14-15. Chairpersons Peggy Mims and Ginny Ehrlich scour the neighborhood each year, looking over fences and through peep holes, to find the best gardens in Old Louisville that are often hidden from view. Fortunately, Old Louisville has some wonderful gardeners and usually it does not take a lot of arm-twisting to convince them to show off the fruits of their labors. The Garden Tour typically attracts 500-900 visitors each year to Old Louisville.

For the last several years, the SSNA has controlled parking at the Filson Club as a fundraiser during the Saint James Art Show. This project was a "gift" from the 1300 S. Third Street Association who turned it over to the SSNA when they began sponsoring their own art show. A couple of years ago, the Association received another "gift," courtesy of The Third Street Neighborhood Association, when asked to take over and operate a "fried potato booth." The booth is now referred to as "Home of the Flaming Spuds" in recognition of the fact that a large grease fire threatened to burn down the Third Street Art Show the first year. 

In closing, we quote Peggy Davis, current President of the SSNA, in a memo to members and neighborhood residents: "…The SSNA has been a dynamic and successful organization for over twenty five years because of people like you and like me that have taken time to build a real community in the heart of the city. And, it will take people like you and like me to continue the work that others started so that those who come after us, perhaps even into the next millennium, will carry on the tradition of community service and neighborhood improvement. We will need full participation and everyone’s unique talents and energy to step up and out in 2001!" Not a bad thought for all of us! 

(This article was edited to fit in this newsletter. Thank you SSNA.) 


Spring is almost here! And what is spring without the vibrant colors of red Salvia, white Geraniums, and pink Begonias? You can order these plants and many others through the SSNA’s 14th Annual Spring-Time Bedding Plant Sale! Just fill out the enclosed order form to reserve your selection at our best prices! Flowers are conveniently identified according to those best suited to full "sun," "light shade," or "shade." 

Why spend a weekend driving from store to store or nursery to nursery to  find the plants you want? We bring the nursery to you! We guarantee your complete satisfaction or your money back. We offer all the popular flowers. This year we have added several hanging baskets for your selection. Looking for the perfect ground cover? Try the Purple Wave or the Rose Wave and your troubles are over. These plants are fast growing, drought-resistant, and produce spectacular flowers. (They would look great for an alley beautification project!) Also available this year is a limited supply of earthworm castings made from organic matter. You’ll find a little bit goes a long way to getting your plants off to a great start…the organic way.

Your friends and co-workers will love our flowers, too. Make your own copies of the order form or call for extra forms. Have questions? Need recommendations? Call Peggy at 634-1640 or email

Time is short! Orders must be in by April 12. Your order will be ready for pickup Saturday, April 21, between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Our NEW convenient pickup location is the Gettleman’s garage at the rear of 1461 S. Fourth Street. The alley is between 4th and 3rd Streets and can be entered from either Hill Street or Magnolia Ave. Just follow your neighbors!

Property Improvement Committee Report
Vacant Building Update

103 West Kentucky Street (Vacant Residential): Timothy Martin, attorney for Stock Yards Bank has assured that a foreclosure suit is in process whereby this property will go to a Commissioner’s sale within three (3) to four (4) months.

1452 South Brook Street (Vacant Residential): The City of Louisville Department of Housing, Mr. Rob Kanzler, Director, has advised that the spot condemnation process regarding this property is nearing the end and has been referred to the Department of Housing Counsel to see if the property can be set for sale.

1136 South 4th Street (Vacant Commercial): The county is waiting for formal notification that the second bankruptcy case that this property was involved in has been discharged. As soon as such is received then they will move for judgement in this suit. County Attorney, John Schardein, has advised that this matter should be resolved within six (6) months.

1257 South Brook Street (Vacant Residential): This long-time vacant and deteriorated property was recently sold and new owners are in the process of rehabilitation improvement.

1229 South Floyd Street (Vacant Residential): As received from the City of Louisville Department of Housing: The above property is to be sold, subject to a judgement held by the City of Louisville, at a Commissioner’s Sale on April 24, 2001, at 10:00 a.m. The sale will be held in the Commissioner’s Office located at 514 W. Liberty Street, 4 th Floor. A $1000 down payment must be made, either by cash, certified check or money order, at the time of sale and the total amount bid must be paid within six months of date of sale. A sale flyer may be obtained at the Commissioner’ Office. For more specific information regarding payment, you may call the Commissioner’s Office at 574-5934.

430 West Hill Street (Vacant Residential): This property which was vacant for approximately fifteen (15) years was recently transferred to new ownership. We all remember this location at the southeast corner of 5 th and Hill Streets in that each summer the site would become overgrown with weeds four feet in height and it looked like a jungle. The townhouse is being renovated by new owners.

1153 South Second Street (Vacant Residential): Located just east of Treyton Oak Towers, this property has been vacant for many years. The property was recently sold and the new owners are in the renovation process. Jan LaPin and the residents of Treyton Oak Towers will be eagerly keeping an eye on the renovations.

626 West Ormsby Street (Vacant Residential): On 8 February 2001, the City of Louisville Department of IPL processed the owner of this vacant residential building to District Court in regard to building code violations. Judge Jacquelyn Eckert directed all code violations be corrected or the building be sold by 15 March 2001. Eleven Old Louisville residents appeared in court before Judge Eckert in support of the City of Louisville Department IPL.

"Thank You" to The City or Louisville Department of IPL and Housing

Many of the above locations have changed ownership as a direct result of enforcement actions undertaken by the City of Louisville.

We in Old Louisville again extend our sincere appreciation to Mr. William E, Schrenck, Director, City of Louisville Department of Inspections, Permits, and Licenses and his staff, as well as, Mr. Rob Kanzler, Director, City of Louisville Department of Housing and his staff for their vigilant pursuits and efforts to rid Old Louisville of all vacant and deteriorating properties.

Herb Fink, Chair

The remainder of the PIC Committee Report will be published in next month’s newsletter. Items included will be the 900 block of South First Street, new handrails at the Information Center, and tulip bulb planting in Central Park.

Next Property Improvement Committee meeting is Thursday, 5 April 2001, – 7:00 p.m. at the Information Center. Wednesday, 18 April 2001 – Task Force – Re: Transportation Planning – 7:00 p.m. at the Information Center.

OLNC General Membership Meeting/Ninth Street Extension Forum,

Wednesday, April 11, 7:00pm at the Information Center


100th Birthday Party
When: Sunday April 8, 2001
Where: 1359 Third Street
Old Louisville Inn
Time: 2:00 pm till 5:00 pm

Old Louisville Inn was originally built
as a private residence in 1901. In
celebration of the 100
th Birthday of the
building, you are invited to tour the Inn
and view the New Works collection of
paintings by Marty Walsh.

Marianne Lesher, Innkeeper

The Old Louisville Journal is published monthly by the Old Louisville Information Center, Inc. (OLIC), a 501(c)(3) corporation, incorporated in 1984, for  the purpose of receiving tax deductible contributions. OLIC is affiliated with the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council (OLNC), a nonprofit association incorporated in 1976 to serve as the recognized voice of the Old Louisville Neighborhood. Submit Journal contributions to Mariah Cummins, Old Louisville Information Center, 1340 S. Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40208.
Phone: (502) 635-5244


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