The Old Louisville Journal

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

  Volume 28, Issue 12

December 2006    


On Saturday evening, October 28, Old-Louisville party-goers turned out in full regalia for the first annual Spirit Ball at the Conrad-Caldwell House on St James Court. A black, lacquered horse-drawn carriage clip clopped its way around the court as guests arrived in colorful masquerade and dressed as various Old Louisville characters from the late 1800s and early 1900s. The festivities began at 8:00 p.m. and came to a close at midnight after over a hundred revelers danced the night away while sipping cocktails and sampling gourmet fare from Masterson’s. “It was like stepping back in time,” said Regina Wilson, a resident of Sixth Street who brought her husband to the ball as an early Christmas present. “The mansion was beautifully decorated, and the costumes and Victorian attire were absolutely fabulous. It was a great time, and I can’t wait to come back next year.” Apart from dancing and mingling, attendees also had the opportunity to bid on various packages at a silent auction and do the Victorian Ghost Walk. Deb Riall, director of the Conrad-Caldwell House, said the event was a huge success for the neighborhood and that it will be a highlight on the Old Louisville calendar for years to come. According to local  author David Domine, the official host of the event, “With the Spirit Ball and the neighborhood ghost tours, we hope to turn the weekend before Halloween into an annual fall festival that celebrates the Victorian heritage of the neighborhood.” Next year will see the addition of a pumpkin walk and other events that will grow the festival into a major attraction for Old Louisville, he said.
The first annual Spirit Ball came about as a result of more than sixth months of planning and hard work by friends and residents of Old Louisville. Instrumental to the success of the ball were Alan Bird, president of the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce, Nore Ghibaudy, executive director of the Visitors Center in Historic Old Louisville, and dedicated committee members that included Gary Kleier, Deb Riall, David Domine, Susan Coleman, Rob and Margaret Young, and Herb and Gayle Warren. Many local sponsors also contributed to the successful event. Some of them were Brown-Forman, Happy Balls!, Gary Kleier and Associates, Old Louisville Inns and TourLouisville. Proceeds from the ball will benefit community activities of the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the Spirit Ball or to reserve your tickets for next year’s gala, call 502.637.2922.

The Resurrectionist poses with Jennie Bowman, the Phantom of Brook Street,
and a floozy from the Pink Palace.

Don’t forget The Holiday House Tour
December 2 & 3, 2006


OLIC Board Member Elections
December 19

The Old Louisville Information center has received three nominations for a three open Board seats.
Please attend the December Old Louisville Neighbor Council meeting at 7 p.m., December 26, 2006 in order to place your vote.
The current nominees are:
Richard Wayne Tabb - Rick Tabb has been semi-retired for the last 6 years, and is now assisting Bearwood Gardens with quality control, staff training and development. His previous employment includes Executive director of the Community Health Trust and Deputy Director of the Private Industry Council of Metro Louisville and Jefferson County. He has served as a volunteer on numerous community boards and councils and is an ordained minister.
Ric Poe - Rick and his wife Becky have lived in the 1300 block of 1st Street since 2002. After moving to Old Louisville, Ric has been active with the Ouerbacker Ct. NA. He was the liaison to the OLNC two years ago. Over the past year he has been the Property Improvement Committee liaison. Ric works in Information Technology at UPS. Ric’s current hobby is the renovation of his house.
Sonia Perez - Sonia is a new resident of Old Louisville, remodeling her home on West St. Catherine. Sonia works for Republic Bank.
Nominations are still open and there will be a blank on the election ballots for write-ins.

Editorial Policy: 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.

Madame Zaneskaya smiles for the camera.

Marie Antoinnette takes a turn on the dance floor with Victorian Gentleman Ramon Garcia.

Joann and Arnold Calentano

Letters to the Editor

Note from the editor:
It is always the intention that this small, neighborhood publication assist the residents by keeping them informed of neighborhood news and issues. A monthly publication is seldom able to accomplish a goal such as this due to the “age of instant information” in which we currently live. News in a
monthly newsletter is often out of date. However, the neighborhood discussion of a potential “wet/dry vote” in Old Louisville has generated numerous letters to the editor on the subject and the Old Louisville Journal seems to be serving a real purpose this month.
Even though we publish a monthly calendar and regularly invite neighborhood associations to inform the Old Louisville Journal of meetings and events, we seldom recieve information regarding those meetings aside from regularly scheduled neighborhood association meetings. Apparently, numerous meetings and gatherings have been held in the past two months to discuss this wet/dry issue, but the word has not spread in any organized fashion so that the entire neighborhood may participate in the discussion.
We are publishing every letter sent to us this month as a means to show neighborhood leadership at all levels that there is considerable interest in the topic and that it is imperative to include the entire community in this discussion. As you read through the letters to the editor this month, remember the deep connection many of the residents of our neighborhood feel to this community and the passions which have resulted in these letters being written. Frustration is clearly evident in many of the letters.
As a challenge to the community leaders at all levels, including Metro government officials, business leaders, and the Louisville Metro Police Department who also recieve this newsletter, can we not plan a special called meeting in January to begin examining this issue from all angles and involve all stakeholders in the discussion? We will certainly feature a meeting announcement in the January Journal (date for submissions is December 15th). Again, this neighborhood issue is igniting many feelings ranging from complete frustration to helplessness to renewed impowerment. I implore residents to become informed of the issue from all sides and for community leadership at all levels to help this be an informed and comprehensive discussion for the entire Old Louisville neighborhood.

From Ed Turley
There was a meeting at Mastersons Monday, Nov.13 concerning the wet/dry vote for Old Louisville. As it stands, so far only business owners have attended the meetings. If this were to be put to a vote then possibly 28 businesses could/would be put out of business. I really don’t think some people have really thought this though. Example, we could not sell beer or wine at the St. James Art Show. You could not go to a quick shop or grocery store and buy beer. Restaurants rely on the bar trade to keep their doors open. All the bars in Old Louisville would have to close. Business would not to relocate to Old Louisville and we would have solved nothing. There are laws on the books that deal with open containers and public drunkenness. We need to pressure the police to enforce this. Private citizens need to get involved in the meetings.

Dear Editor:
A few years ago when we decided to resurrect the Old Louisville Business & Professional Association (now the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce) we were inspired to model our vision of what the Old Louisville Neighborhood should be on the concept of the village. A village we thought, should have well designated borders. It would not have streets that doubled as expressway ramps, but highly integrated streets that made getting from one place to the other easy. A village would also have lots of amenities so that residents could get pretty much everything they needed within their village without having to travel miles and miles to distant locales. The people going in and out of these establishments would make the streets safer, and even more importantly, make them seem safer.
The engine for much of these changes would be increased tourism, showcasing our rich architecture and history. All these things together would make Old Louisville a destination community, and in the process, increase the pleasure of living here while raising our property values. Since then, things have been going pretty well as planned. New restaurants have come enticing the suburbanites into the inner city. Bed and breakfast inns have proliferated and other small retail and service companies have set up shop. However, much of this progress is now at risk.
The problem in a word is Streetpeople, (or is that two words). The poor, mentally ill, the unemployed and the disenfranchised wile away their hours in and about our commercial center, begging for money, drinking out of containers wrapped in brown paper bags, passing out, and in the process making our streets more menacing than they really are. Some of our residents have suggested that banning alcohol in the four precincts that make up much of Old Louisville and most of its commercial areas is the answer. While this proposal might reduce the presence of street people, it would also destroy much that has been accomplished by the Chamber and the Neighborhood in encouraging tourism.
Ten of our local eateries would be so affected that many of them would likely not survive. Four of our favorite watering holes would be gone. Even some of our corner groceries would be significantly impacted, such that staying in business would no longer be worthwhile. Our streets would become more and more deserted and would feel, and in reality be, more and more dangerous.
There are some possible solutions that would not have this devastating impact on our neighborhood. The Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce adopted the following plan to deal with the legitimate complaints of some of our neighbors regarding alcohol sales:
1. Package liquor stores would voluntarily agree to stop selling half-pint bottles and single serving beer containers. These are the items most usually consumed in the immediate vicinity of the sale.
2. The Chamber would again promote its anti-panhandling initiative, “When A Helping Hand Isn’t”. The effort would be supported by retailers with possible hand out cards directing those in need to local service providers in lieu of “spare change”.
3. Local retailers which employ security guards would be encouraged to have their guards regularly patrol their parking lots to keep their customers from being solicited and to discourage loitering.
4. The Fourth Police District would more vigorously enforce the criminal laws against public drinking and drunkenness utilizing the constitutionally authorized “investigatory stop” procedures as outlined in the U.S. Supreme Court Case of Terry v. Ohio. The police would also be encouraged to promptly respond to store owner complaints of loitering and like offenses on their private property (their parking lots).
While implementation of these proposals may not prevent every incident of offensive conduct, they would go a long way toward that goal. At the same time, Old Louisville would continue to be a vibrant welcoming and happening place, one where anyone would like to live or visit.
Kenneth C. Plotnik

Dear Editor 
I am very disappointed to see that some people are upset over the discussion about banning the sale of liquor along Oak Street.
One thing I would like to know:
Where have these people been in the last five years? - when the situation along that part of the neighborhood has little by little gotten worse and worse? Have they been out picking up the trash and discarded wine bottles with their own two hands at all hours of the day? Have they been calling the police on the drunks who pass out in their front yard? Have they had to chase bums and drug dealers off their sidewalks so it can look like they live in a respectable neighborhood?
Well, I figure the answer to that is NO. But, I can at least say that I have done all these things to fight for my home and neighborhood, and I am over these seedy, cheap liquor places making a profit at my expense. If they want to make money off the bums in our neighborhood, then they can police them and clean up after them themselves! If not, they can get out of the neighborhood, for all I care - and I don’t care if it means I cannot buy a bottle of wine at the store myself. I’ll drive over to Bardstown Road where it’s safer.”
Thanks. - Gary Bruce Smith 

Dear Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all residents of Old Louisville to join in on the efforts to ban the sale of liquor along the Oak Street corridor. For years now we have been dealing with the problems brought on by vagrants and bums who rely on nearby package liquor establishments to supply their cheap cans of beer and brown-paper-wrapped fifths of whiskey and such.
These establishments are not good neighbors, and they only contribute to the problems that have plagued Old Louisville property owners for years now. As long as they can make a quick buck selling booze to anyone who walks in off the street, they don’t care about the effect it has on our beautiful neighborhood. They say they refuse to sell to individuals who are drunk or suspicious looking, but that is a lie. I have observed on numerous occasion as obvious bums and troublemakers have walked in (better, staggered in) off the street and then exited with alcohol they guzzled down as soon as they got back at outside.
This happens at ALL of the package-liquor establishments along Oak Street, and I have seen it MANY TIMES. RITEAID is the worst one of all, and it’s not a coincidence that they are located on the corner of the most dangerous intersection in the entire city.
I’m sorry if restaurants who cater to respectable citizens are affected in the process, but unless they step up to the plate and put pressure on their associates along Oak Street, I don’t really care if they are affected by this ban. It is ridiculous that we have had to  put up with these problems for so many years now!
It is a shame that the police are not doing their job and enforcing laws that are already on the books that forbid public vagrancy, loitering and public intoxication.
It is a scandal that people have sat around for so long without doing a single thing to curb this problem.
And what’s WORSE is that several seedy establishments in the neighborhood are catering to the undesirables and prefer to make a couple of dollars rather than contribute to their neighborhood.
Yes, Oak Street is primarily a business corridor, however, just steps from Oak Street you have homes where people have been living for years and trying to make this neighborhood a better place.
I’m tired of getting up in the morning and picking up empty beer and whiskey bottles out of my front yard. I look forward to this ban and will do anything I can to help it along. —
K.J. Brown, Garvin Gate

Dear Editor:
 An article about this proposal also appeared in the courier journal.  I think it is unfortunate that this has been described as “targeting” any individual business (poor choice of words on our part)- we are really trying to address the larger issue of crime and safety.
 We have been looking into our options we hope to be able to put a moist ordinance on the ballot. This would allow restaurants and bars to sell alcohol. There is some confusion as to whether or not this is doable.  We are trying to get clarification.
After the November general election we will schedule a meeting to gather people together who support this proposal.  We will have to gather signatures equal to 25% of the people who people of voted in each precinct.
 We will have to coordinate with the neighborhood associations.
Kent Thompson

Dear Editor
 My wife and I purchased 430 West Oak Street and are now living there.  We were present a copy of “The Old Louisville Journal” by our Realtor and our attention was directed to the plans to ban sale of package liquors on Oak St. corridor.  What can we do to help in this effort.
Lyle & Judy Nutting

Dear Editor:
I am very happy to see that someone is finally doing something about the terrible problems we have been experiencing along Oak Street. It may be a last resort, but if we ban the sale of alcohol, that will surely clear out all the bums that make that area look like skid row. I live a block away and I am always approached by panhandlers that I see in the various liquor stores all the time. In addition, I am always patrolling the streets to pick up all the embarrassing empty beer cans and bottles.
I am tired of these people destroying our neighborhood and I am sick and tired of the three main sources of these cheap drinks (Rite Aid, Oak Street Liquors and 1st and Oak) making money at our expense and not trying to help the problem they are creating. It’s time to clear them all out and clean up the neighborhood!
Thanks you very much.
Margaret Halalli
Ormsby Ave.


Ouerbacker Arts & Crafts Neighborhood Association progresses…

By Joan Stewart, Co-Chair Ouerbacker A&C Neighborhood Association
Sunday, November 12, 2006 the Ouerbacker Arts and Crafts Neighborhood Association held its’ first (annual) Winter Progressive Dinner. Thirty-three (33) participants enjoyed amazing appetizers (Cilantro Lime Shrimp on Asian seedless cucumber, Olive Tapanade on toasted baguette, and Spinach Artichoke filled Phyllo Pastry) along with drinks provided by Jim and Kim………soup (Beef Vegetable and Vegetarian Minestrone) and salad (Spinach with Fruit) provided by Roz and DeLois & Sean………..entrée (Pasta Primavera) provided by Gary and Geoffrey……..cheese course (Wensleydale with Cranberries, traditional goat cheese, gouda, brie, and an Australian blue cheese ) and dessert (Chocolate Harvest Cake, Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake, and Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Gingersnaps) provided by Robin & Ray and Katie.

The group gathered at 5:15ish…ate, socialized, then walked to the next of a total of four homes opened to the Neighborhood for the Event. We ended the evening at about 8:00pm around a nice fire in the Katie’s backyard. The participants expressed joy at the wonderfulness of the evening and proposed that this become an Annual Event.


The Midwest Travel Writers Association, the nation’s oldest association of professional travel writers, has recognized TourLouisville and its Old Louisville Ghost Tours with a GEMmy Award. The honor – awarded to those destinations judged to be ‘travel gems’ – strives to recognize attractions offering exceptional experiences that get travelers off the beaten path. The award was presented to David Dominé, creator of the tour and author of the books Ghosts of Old Louisville and Phantoms of Old Louisville, on Monday, October 23 at the Conrad-Caldwell House in Old Louisville.  Susan Dallas, marketing communications manager of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and associate member of MTWA, made the presentation.  Accepting the award along with Dominé were Nore Ghibaudy, executive director of the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce, Alan Bird, president of the Old Louisville Chamber of Commerce and Ron Harris, an actor who portrays Alfred Victor Dupont, a past resident of Old Louisville. The honor came as the direct result of member nominations, which were reviewed by the GEMmy Committee before receiving final approval from the MTWA board.
According to Barbara E. Cohen, an Indianapolis-based travel writer who nominated Dominé for the award, his enthusiasm and obvious affection for the neighborhood makes Old Louisville Ghost Tours very special. “David often invites participants inside his own home, and by creating these tours with his own personal touch, he has cleverly figured out a way to showcase regional flare and local architecture,” she said. “He has put Old Louisville on the map, both for its untouted Victorian heritage and haunted hotspots.” Travel writer Elizabeth Granger of Noblesville, Indiana, asks “Who doesn’t enjoy a good story? Combine it with history, architecture, and a natural storyteller. . . and you’ve got a definite GEMmy.”
For more information on Old Louisville Ghost Tours, call the Visitor’s Center in Historic Old Louisville at 502.637.2922 or go online at

(picture above: David Domine accepted the GEMmy Award from Susan Dallas on the front porch of the Conrad-Caldwell House. Also honored (from left to right) were Nore Ghibaudy, Alan Bird, and Ron Harris. )


We’re now accepting applications
for the Spring 2007 Session of the Neighborhood Institute!

Tuesday Evenings
6:00 - 8:30 P.M.
January 23 - April 17
The Clifton Center, 2117 Payne Street

* Dinner is provided for each Tuesday evening meeting!

The Neighborhood Institute is a neighborhood leadership-education program that began in 1987. The Neighborhood Institute equips neighborhood leaders with the resources necessary to effect positive change by working through their neighborhood associations.

Financial support for the Neighborhood Institute is generously provided by the Vital Neighborhoods Initiative of the Metro United Way.
· Twelve-week seminar
· Weekly topics
· Expert panels and speakers
· Neighborhood information exchange
· Networking
· Experiential learning
· Group problem solving
Issues Covered
Issues covered in the Neighborhood Institute depend upon the needs of the class. The class begins by identifying and assessing what the participants view as being their most pressing issues. Past experience has led us to expect that the following issues will be included:
· Community & Economic Development
· Getting Your Message Out
· Conflict Resolution
· Consensus Building
· Accessing the Power Structure
· Dealing with Public Sector Agencies
· Organization Building
· Resource Building and Tapping Resources
· Strategic Planning
· Planning, Zoning and Land Use Issues
· Legal Issues
· Law Enforcement
For more information, please contact at


Click here for this month's Meeting's Calendar

Please 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.

Submit Journal contributions to the Editor:
Old Louisville Information Center
1340 S. Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40208.
Phone: (502) 635-5244

Advertising rates available upon request.
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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