Old Louisville Journal
A Monthly Summary of
News and Events in Old Louisville
Published by OLIC, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Corporation
Volume 29, Issue 2
Walking Tours Guide to Historic Old Louisville
By Nore J. Ghibaudy
(Louisville, KY – January 25, 2007) ~ In the eighteen months the
Visitors Center in Historic Old Louisville has been open and greeted
more than 18,000 visitors, the most frequent request has been for a
guide and/or map of the Victorian homes. There are more than 1,400
homes in the forty-eight-block Old Louisville area. In response to
this need, the 76 page full-color guide, Historic Old Louisville
Neighborhood Walking Tours, “Showcasing the largest collection of
Victorian mansions in the United States,” was created.
In addition to history and five tours, the guide includes a historic
timeline of Louisville and the Metropolitan area from the 1700s
through the 1900s, and features many of the historic attractions,
time-line attractions and neighborhood special events. The tours
themselves identify the year the home was built, who built the home,
what they did for a living and unique features of the home.
This comprehensive guide is due to work that spans more than thirty
years. “We know that each individual’s contribution at whatever
point in time was done with love for the neighborhood, the desire to
preserve Old Louisville’s rich history and the wish to share it with
those who come to visit,” said Alan Bird, Old Louisville Chamber of
Building the Southern extension in what is now Old Louisville began
in the 1830s when the first homes built were country residences.
After the Civil War, Louisville experienced a tremendous surge of
growth and prosperity. The single most dramatic stimulus for
expansion was the Southern Exposition of 1883. Following its end
1887 the site was parceled off to developers, who created an area
with much architectural significance. A variety of styles, ranging
from the formal symmetrical designs of Renaissance Revival to the
romantic Queen Anne and Chateauesque can be viewed within a one or
two block area. Diverse colors, materials and scale abound in the
residences. Three-story homes along Third and Fourth streets are the
largest and most elaborate, followed by those in St. James Court,
Ormsby and Second Street. Although pure examples of a particular
architectural style are often difficult to find in Old Louisville,
there are several predominant types of structures. They include
Victorian Gothic, Italianate, Renaissance Revival, Richardsonian
Romanesque, Queen Anne, Chateauesque, Tudor, Beaux Arts, Craftsman,
Federal, Shotgun and Eclectic.
This guide is a collaborative effort of the Old Louisville
Neighborhood Council and the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce. The
guide can be enjoyed by visitors to Louisville as a result of the
in-kind and financial contributions of many of the neighbors,
neighborhood associations, the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce,
and the Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Tourism matching
funds program. The guides are available at the Information Center in
Central Park and the Visitors Center on at 218 West Oak Street.
Film Documentary On The
Historic Old Louisville To Begin Filming
By Kevin Kouba
(Louisville, KY – January 25, 2007) ~ After completing the 76
page full-color guide, Historic Old Louisville Neighborhood
Walking Tours, “Showcasing the largest collection of Victorian
mansions in the United States,” that also includes a guide to
the historic and heritage attractions of Greater Louisville, the
Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce and the Old Louisville
Information Council will begin another joint neighborhood
project. The creative talents of Michael Breeding and his
twenty-five year old Kentucky based company Americana
Productions, has been retained to produce a thirty-minute
documentary and marketing presentation on “The Mansions of Old
Michael Breeding’s unique and widely recognized style of
enlightenment through excellence in quality and beauty has
distinguished him as a “master artisan”. His strength lies in
his ability to develop superior creative teams with a steadfast
goal of superior productions. Breeding, has had experience at
creating PBS-style documentaries and video marketing
presentations. In addition to the thirty-minute documentary with
a working title of “The Mansions of Historic Old Louisville,’ a
shorter marketing presentation will be created for distribution
to the motorcoach industry that will feature the Conrad-Caldwell
House Museum. Filming of home interiors will commence in late
February and is scheduled to be completed by June with a July
A short list of critically acclaimed 16MM, 35MM, BETA and High
Definition (HD) Americana production include:
· The Keeneland Legacy: A Thoroughbred Tradition
· Shakertown: Into a more Perfect Order
· All The Queen’s Horses: The Role of the Horse in British
· Imperial China: The Art of the Horse in Chinese History
· Rivers: The Heart of our Nation
· Kentucky Place and Spirit
The Americana team is looking for Old Louisville residents who
would be willing to open up their homes for filming. “We are
looking for uniqueness and beauty of the Victorian era from a
variety of home architectural styles from Romanesque to Shotgun
houses”, said Michael Breeding. “If neighborhood residents have
beautiful entrances, stained and leaded glass windows, ornate
woodwork, staircases, light fixtures, fireplaces, that they are
willing to share for this project we would really appreciate
their contribution. I ask that they would please email the Old
Louisville Chamber of Commerce at info@OldLouisvilleChamber.com
as I will be personally visiting locations beginning early next
Letters and articles submitted to The Old Louisville Journal may
be edited with regard to space and/or content. Letters to the
Editor must be signed with a verifiable signature and address.
Letter from the Editor
Letter from the Editor:
Impatience in the Age of Instant Information
To the residents:
I am constantly amazed with the slow pace things
seem to move when organizations and government are
involved. Take the January issue of the OLJ to
start. It was very late getting out last month. We
were timely in pulling it together but holiday
scheduling and the like caused it to be delivered at
least 10 days into the month. Apologies to all for
Let’s move on the government. Reporting an abandoned
vehicle on my street was met with extreme
frustration. It was my understanding we have a 24
hour vehicle ordinance. A truck was parked on my
street just prior to Christmas. A few days after
Christmas it was still there but had developed a
flat tire. Being the holiday season, I thought
perhaps I would wait a few more days. After 10 days
I reported it abandoned to MetroCall. The lady
taking my report was very nice and very helpful and
informed me that it would take two to three weeks to
process the tow request. I was stunned! Why have a
24 hour vehicle ordinance if we have to then wait
two to three weeks for action? Honestly, I couldn’t
Then, there is the issue of a missing trash
receptacle. My trash receptacle came up missing in
October. I reported it immediately and finally was
“gifted” with a new one the week after Christmas.
Again, I was amazed by the time line. I am ever so
thankful to again have a receptacle but “six to
eight weeks” to replace it seemed like an eternity
at the time.
Perhaps it is that I live and work in the “Age of
Instant Information” that causes these frustrations
but then again it could be that the inertia that is
sometimes a trait of organizations and governments
is catching up with me. I have learned lessons,
though, through my eight and one half years as a
resident of this community. One is that we have
extremely invested residents living here. They are a
group passionate about this neighborhood and
dedicated to keeping it family friendly and
comfortable. Another is that we do have a city
government system that does try to make it easy to
get help when needed. MetroCall is a wonderful means
by which to have your concerns and issues both heard
and addressed. I can’t tell you how surprised I have
been to get follow up calls from city officials to
some of my MetroCall reports. Finally, though we all
have very different experiences, the Louisville
Metro Police Department has earned a favorable mark
with me, too. I have what could be termed a “party
house” across the street from where I live. I have
called the police numerous times. Imagine my
reaction when I received a courtesy call from LMPD
to follow up on my “long-standing issue with the
house across the street.” The officer who phoned me
was sympathetic, responsive, and supportive. I truly
felt as if both my voice was heard and action was
going to be taken.
I suppose the lesson learned is “do not allow the
inertia that sometimes exists to cause us to stop
asking for assistance.” I have seen persistence by
residents of this neighborhood result in many
positive changes over the years. Make use of the
many resources at our fingertips and stay involved,
stay committed and stay passionate about our
In the December and January issues of the OLJ were
posted numerous letters to the editor concerning
selling packaged drink and the “collateral damage”
this causes to the neighborhood near those vendors
involved in the sales. This month, two residents
provide a different view of the community discussion
surrounding a wet/dry vote. Both sides of the issue
have valid points and both sides of the issue seek
to augment positive change for the neighborhood.
Please continue to talk to one another in the
neighborhood about this and other neighborhood
concerns. Turn to the back page of this newsletter
and attend one of the many community and
neighborhood meetings. Come together as the
intelligent and articulate community we are and
let’s address this and other community issues.
Letters to the Editor
My name is Scott Risinger. I am responding to some of the
editorials in the January 2007 issue. My wife Sharon and I
own Amici’ Italian Cafe at 316 W. Ormsby. We also are the
former owners and originators of Third Avenue Cafe.
This might be a long one so hold on. Recently we have come
under fire for organizing meetings with the business owners
and our councilman with very little notice. I will explain.
When I woke up on that Wednesday morning and read the
“Neighborhoods” section of the CJ about an attempt to have a
wet/dry vote, I was needless to say shocked! Can you imagine
if you worked at Ford and woke up and read the headlines
“Ford Closes! No Workers Kept! No Transfers or
Unemployment!, No Options!” How sick would you feel in your
stomach? No one contacted any of the business owners to
discuss this before they organized, contacted the reporter,
and decided this course of action.
I will give some history. Sharon and I came to Old
Louisville in 1999 buying Zeidens Drugstore. While
renovating the apartments we realized we were lacking in a
variety of food choices.. We thought the best use of this
corner was a restaurant. We contacted every restaurant
person we could, but they all said the same thing,”a
restaurant will never work in Old Louisville”, so we did it
ourselves and as they say,”The rest is history”.After being
down here working for years we moved here from the
Highlands, all because of the wonderful people in the
neighborhood. We do not just do restaurants, we also have
invested heavily in rental property in the neighborhood, but
whatever we do, we try to do our best. When we purchase a
building, we first clean up the tenancy, then we rent only
to great tenants! We are serious about our neighborhood!
We agree that there are problems that have been ignored for
a long time, but is making the area “dry” the answer? I
think not. I want to do some what ifs scenerios to see how
it affects us all.
What if we asked Don Driskell not sell apartment buildings
because the new owner might be a slumlord?
What if we asked David Domine to not write any of his
fabulous books because it might scare people away from our
area or they may disagree with personal beliefs?
What if we didn’t do the tours because someone may not like
the buses and exhaust on the streets?
What if we asked the B & Bs to rent rooms only to married
What if we didn’t allow everyone to use our areas for the
St. James Art Show because we don’t like being
What if all of our associations and volunteers were not
allowed to be so passionate about our neighbors?
What if all of the brave entreprenuers were not allowed to
attempt a business and create the American Dream?
What if we hadn’t had the Helgas, the Herb Finks, the Youngs,
the Susan Colemans, the Warrens, the Mary Martins and Stan
Murrells and all of the other tireless workers that makes us
a great neighborhood?
What if the Churches did not feed the hungry. They would
cease to be a Church.
My point in all of this is that we cannot push our values on
everyone else. We moved to the neighborhood because we
thought it was the most diversified and accepting area that
we had ever seen. We really feel like we have true neighbors
and we embrace that. We are unified with everyone in the
attempt to clean our area up and make it the best that it
can be. Lets not have disension or contempt, lets unite and
show everyone why we all love it here. We cannot let the
papers sensationalize our conflicts.If you have any problems
with any of our properties or businesses, please feel free
to email me at
Thanks, Scott and Sharon Risinger
In July, Amici Italian Cafe opened at 316 W. Ormsby. Owner
Sharon Rissinger, formerly of 3rd Ave Cafe and BBC (on
Fourth), is an Old Louisville resident, herself, and has
dedicated her business life to providing our neighborhood
with fine food at affordable prices, in a friendly
Amici delivers all of that.
Recently, however, in light of Sharon’s opposition to the
proposal to turn Old Louisville into a ‘’dry’’ area, she has
come under attack from several vocal—and many
anonymous—elements within our neighborhood.
As Sharon correctly maintains, if Old Louisville is deemed a
‘’dry’’ neighborhood, we will lose all of the establishments
which sell liquor—not just Rite-Aid and the small liquor
stores. These lost businesses will include Amici, Buck’s,
Carly Rae’s, The Granville Inn, The Mag Bar, The Rudyard
Kipling, and The Tavern.
Independent restaurant owners in this area—except for the
fast food variety—CAN NOT survive on the tiny profit made
from food alone. It’s not their fault that we have
panhandlers at Rite-Aid, armed-robbery-for-drug-money, and
break-ins near the many half-way houses the city dumps on
us. But these nearsighted folks who are pushing the ‘’dry’’
vote actually believe that ridding the neighborhood of
restaurants that serve wine and liquor with dinner will
contribute to a decline in our crime rate. They must also
think that empty buildings and the end of new business in
Old Louisville are desirable goals for our community.
Sharon Rissinger has been vocal in her opposition to this
proposal. She has also spearheaded meetings with the local
police division in order to convince them that our
neighborhood needs to be protected as diligently as
Bardstown Rd. against crime. She zealously guards and
protects her block of Ormsby against panhandlers and drunks.
As any smart business person should, she realizes that
driving business away from the neighborhood is NOT the
answer to our crime problems. She knows that a neighborhood
with fine restaurants is a neighborhood where residents walk
to dinner, and their very presence on the sidewalks helps to
deter crime. She knows that a neighborhood with restaurants,
where residents can meet and take their guests, is a
neighborhood which attracts other businesses. What gallery
owner, for instance, would want to open in an area where his
clients couldn’t eat as they shop?
But because Sharon has chosen to stand up to those who would
drive her out of the neighborhood, she has been the target
of some vicious written and verbal attacks.
Personally, I don’t drink, but I love taking visitors to
some of our wonderful neighborhood establishments, where
they can enjoy a cocktail with their meals, if they so
Our problems are not brought about by the responsible
restaurant owners who sell drinks with meals. Yet a blanket
‘’dry’’ designation must, by Kentucky law, include
Those who are pushing this proposal aren’t willing to take
the same responsibility for their neighborhood that the West
St. Catherine Neighborhood took, last year, when we were
inundated with drug dealers. After making our concerns known
to the police and still feeling underserved, we took matters
into our own hands—walking the streets at night, reporting
any and all suspicious activity, etc., eventually driving
the dealers out. Our streets are safer now, than they’ve
been in years.
If you value a neighborhood with fine restaurants, then
please please please support them. Dine at Amici or Carly
Rae’s, instead of venturing to Bardstown Rd., the next time
you eat out. Show them you care about their efforts to serve
this neighborhood, by pioneering new business in an area
that needs it.
Show these owners that the gamble they’ve taken on us was
worth it. To those who would shut down our restaurants along
with the irresponsible businesses that sell package liquor
to drunks, try being pro-active, instead. Organize your
opposition to those businesses, stand at their doors and
demand that they clean up their acts. Call the police every
single time you are panhandled, every single time you
witness public drunkenness on our streets. Don’t turn the
clock back on Old Louisville, and drive our property values
back down, just because you don’t have the time or the
inclination to deal with the problems of your neighborhood,
Sincerely, Jon Huffman
It amazes me to read the newsletter and discover how many
people in this neighborhood are willing to give up the right
to have a cocktail at one of our local restaurants, in order
to keep the drunks out of the area!
This is not the way to handle our problems.
If you want our crime problems to disappear, then do
something about them! Get active and participate in your
neighborhood association. Alcohol is not the only problem
we have here! I’ve watched drug deals go down in front of
my house—and then got involved with our neighborhood
association (WSCNA) to work together to drive the dealers
It’s time to demand that our police enforce the laws against
loitering and panhandling and public drunkenness. It’s time
to demand that the city help clean up our beautiful
neighborhood! We pay taxes for these efforts.
But we can’t give up a chance for our neighborhood to grow
and prosper, with restaurants that need alcohol sales to
survive, just because we can’t keep the riff-raff off the
streets! Because that’s what will happen if we ban alcohol
sales—the only way Kentucky law allows the banning of
alcohol sales is with a blanket ban in a given area—no
alcohol sales at all.
What a shame it would be to lose our wonderful, growing
collection of great neighborhood restaurants, because we
couldn’t deal with the street drunks that buy package liquor
from a few irresponsible vendors!
Sincerely, Barb Cullen
The editor thanks all who have written in regarding the
wet/dry issue in the community. Future letters to the editor
on this topic may be heavily edited for space and content.
Please attend the Crime and Safety Committee meeting listed
on the monthly calendar on the back page of this newsletter
to make your voices heard on this and other topics related
to the safety of our community. Thank you!
Summary of January’s Crime and Safety Committee
By Helga Ulrich
Crime & Safety Committee Chair
There have been changes in the Louisville Metro Police
Department which directly impact the Old Louisville
neighborhood. Major Ray and Lt. Chip Jones are moving to the
Investigative Unit in LMPD. Major Steve Green will be assuming
leadership in our Division. After a welcome by the committee,
Major Green shared some of his plans for the Division. First, he
will be initiating an active bicycle patrol as soon as the bikes
have been secured, sufficient officers trained and the weather
allows. He also is hoping to get the mounted police to our
neighborhood as much as their schedule allows. He is also
committed to enforcing the laws diligently that will help reduce
vagrancies, public drinking and loitering.
During the meeting, business owners reported having held several
meetings with the advocates for a dry vote and the LMPD.
Meetings were initiated by Councilman Unseld. Commonwealth
Attorney Irv Maze, also present during those meetings, has been
highly encouraged to prosecute habitual offenders to send a
message that we do tolerate such behavior. The committee agreed
to follow those cases through the court system.
Further discussions at the committee meeting brought to light
that most of the burglaries (break ins) in Old Louisville occur
almost exclusively in apartments, a subcommittee has been formed
to look at possible preventative measures like criminal
background checks for potential tenants.
Though our good friend Lt Chip Jones will be following Major Ray
to the Investigative Unit, Major Green has assured us that he
has already selected his replacement but does not yet have a
start date. The C&S committee had an excellent working
relationship with Lt. Jones. He was always willing to listen,
and to do what we asked of him; anything that was within his
power and resources. He will be truly missed but we wish him
well in his new assignment.
The Youth Performing Arts School
Adapted, Directed and Choreographed by
Original Musical Score by
February 8 & 15 @ 7:30p.m.
February 9, 10, 16, 17 @ 8:00p.m.
YPAS Robert W. West Experimental Theater.
Purchase tickets now 485-8355 – limited seating.
Tickets: $8.00—senior and student discounts available
Contact: The Youth Performing Arts School
1517 S. 2nd Street
Louisville, KY 40208
Click here for this month's
visit our Sponsor's Page!
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
501 (c) (4) non-profit association incorporated in 1976 to serve as
the recognized voice of the Old Louisville Neighborhood.
contributions to the Editor:
Old Louisville Information Center
1340 S. Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40208.
Phone: (502) 635-5244
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Please submit “Letters to the Editor” to the above address.
The 15th of each month is deadline for submission of all ads and articles.
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