The Old Louisville Journal

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

Volume 25, Issue 6

June 2003

The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival presents its 43rd year of Free Shakespeare in Central Park

Beginning June 19th, 2003, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival introduces its 43rd season of Free Will with the inspiring classics, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice.

Much Ado About Nothing launches the 2003 season on June 19th in the C. Douglas Amphitheatre. This romantic comedy combines sarcasm with passion in a tale of love and deception. On July 3rd it alternates in repertory with the dark comedy, The Merchant of Venice, until the end of the summer season on July13th.

The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare’s more controversial plays, uses the story of a Jewish money lender named Shylock and raises the issues of ant-Semitic images and stereotypes. The audience is invited to participate in pre-show discussions with experts to understand the context and historical background of the play.

Both productions are directed by Curt Tofteland, who is in his 15th year as KSF Producing Director. Performances begin at 8 pm.

The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival is the nation’s oldest, free, professional, independently-operating Shakespeare festival.

Volunteers are needed to usher the performances and help with gift sales from 6:30 pm until approximately 9 pm. Contact Kristin Tiscornia or Brenda Johnson at 583-8738.

Performance schedule:

Much Ado About Nothing
June 19-22, 24-29 (Preview June 18).
July 9,11,13.

The Merchant of Venice
July 3-6, 8, 10, 12.

Pre-show discussions will be held prior to each performance for Merchant of Venice.  July 3rd discussion begins at 7pm in the amphitheatre. All other discussions begin at 7:15pm in the Old Louisville Information Center.

Landmarks 101: A Refresher Course

What exactly is the Old Louisville Preservation District? What are the Landmarks Commission and the Old Louisville Architectural Review Committee? How do they work? What do design guidelines cover? When is a homeowner subject to the review process? What is that process?

These questions and more will be answered at the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council General Meeting on Thursday, June 26, at 7 pm in the Old Louisville Information Center. Debra Richards, Louisville Development Authority (LDA) Historic Preservation Specialist, and Christopher Quirk, LDA Architect, will be on hand to explain the processes and procedures that govern the Old Louisville Preservation District and help ensure that our historic structures and neighborhood are preserved.

Knowledge is power, and any law is only as good as its enforcement. Plan to attend this meeting to become more aware of everyone’s rights and responsibilities as residents in an historic preservation district.

Six Insight Communications Boxes Planned for Old Louisville

Six sites have been selected in Old Louisville for Insight Communication Alpha Power Supply boxes. These boxes will provide high speed access digital cable TV and telephone service for the neighborhood.

Herb Fink and the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council Property Improvement Committee have worked closely with Insight to assure that these boxes are in appropriate locations and cause minimum physical and visual disruption to the neighborhood. Insight has also contacted all property owners who will be affected by these boxes.

The boxes will rely on electrical power with a natural gas line as a backup system. Ambient noise level will be below that of an air conditioner. If hit by an auto, the boxes or cabinets are designed to break away on impact in order to do minimal damage to vehicles or property. The cabinets are 44" tall, 53" long, and 24" deep. The boxes have passed all UL and CSA standards. Safety features include gas leak sensors which will prevent the generator from starting, and an alarm system warning Insight of any box tampering.

The units will be painted dark green and will be landscaped and mulched after meter and gas connections have been completed. Insight will be responsible for maintenance of the plantings and the cabinets.

The location of the boxes is as follows:

  • * 313 Camp Street (the dead-end backing up against I-65)

  • * 223 St Joseph Street (the dead-end backing up against I-65)

  • * 1138 S. Floyd Street (backing up against I-65)

  • * 310 West Oak

  • * 1502 S. 4th Street (the southwest corner of 4th and Hill)

  • * 1044 S. 5th Street (site in alley)

A motion was passed at the Property Improvement Committee meeting in May to commend Insight for the cooperation and consideration it has given to Old Louisville in regard to the location and installation of these boxes. The Old Louisville Neighborhood Council is also most appreciative of the $1,000 donation made by Insight for the Oak Street Improvement Session.

For further information on the Insight boxes contact the Old Louisville Information Center

Art Show Profits Pave The Way To Neighborhood Improvements

After being involved with the Belgravia Court Section of the St James Court Art Show for forty years, I have become a strong believer in omens and predictors –only I do not use woolly worms. I use falls. To be exact, I count the number of Band-Aids we give out to repair skinned knees due to falls on Belgravia Court’s historically uneven sidewalks.

There are two reasons why Beautiful Belgravia had rough, uneven sidewalks. The first is because the concrete was old and so were the tree roots that ran beneath them. Secondly, sidewalk repair is very expensive. It would have been impossible for the neighborhood to tackle such a large project without saving up proceeds from the St James Court Art Show. It may be hard for any readers in suburban neighborhoods to fathom this concept, but all sidewalk repairs, gaslight repairs, gas bills, and maintenance is the fiduciary responsibly of the Court.

Belgravia knew the sidewalks had to be repaired. (In the last two Art Shows the falls had increased ominously – thankfully, none were serious.) Several years ago, Belgravia began stashing away Art Show profits in preparation for the "Belgravia Builds a Sidewalk" project. The project was completed after the 2002 Art Show. Belgravia sidewalks are now as smooth as a Botox forehead – smooth and beautiful.

When you come to the 2003 Show, if you stumble, I will assume you stumbled onto a great art find, and not a rough patch of concrete. (In addition to the Art Show money earmarked for upkeep and repair, Belgravia also contributes money to the Crane House, Shakespeare in Central Park and the Conrad House.)

Connie Lites

Hyland, Block & Hyland Hosts Open House

Hyland, Block & Hyland Inc., a locally-owned independent insurance agency, will hold an Open House on Thursday, June 26, from 11am-2pm to celebrate 20 years in business and 20 years at its 1250 South Third Street location.

In June of 1983, brothers Tim and Pat Hyland started their new business at the dilapidated and abandoned mansion, which had been built in 1880. The building was restored and has served as the company’s headquarters ever since.

Lunch will be served featuring food from selected restaurants in the Old Louisville area.

HBH is considered among the top ten independent insurance agencies in the Louisville metropolitan area.

25th Anniversary of the Old Louisville Journal:

From the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council Newsletter, June, 1982.

Toonerville Trolley Park holds "Renovation Burnout"

Tired of plaster dust in your hair, leaking roofs, and untucked tuck pointing?? Relax. Take your painter’s pants and work boots to this year’s "Renovation Burn-Out"’, Toonerville’s festival of rehab to be held Saturday, June 12, 1982, at the Ft. George Memorial from 3:00PM until 10:00PM.

In addiction to entertainment, hot dogs, bratwurst, and beer will be offered to help cure your house hassles, and booths will be set up to offer advice on whatever ails your building at the moment. Also, you can offer your expertise to fellow rehabbers and trade stories on the joys and pitfalls of renovation. If you would like to have a booth, or need additional information, contact Toonerville Chairman Marty Chism.

10th Annual Garden Tour blossoms on July 12th and 13th

Mark your calendars for the weekend of July 12 and 13th so you won’t forget about the 10th Annual Old Louisville "Hidden Treasures" Garden Tour. As usual, tourists can expect to see good examples of landscaping in the planned 8-10 gardens featured on this years tour. Also, this year’s tour will feature the newly landscaped garden of Jerie Britton, winner of a garden make-over courtesy of HomeGrown, a garden program on public radio station WFPL.

The tour begins in front of the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum at 1402 St. James Court, directly across from Central Park. Also, tickets may be purchased the days of the tour at this site. This year the hours for touring the gardens have been extended, and now will be from 10:00am to 5:00pm both days (rain or shine- no rain dates, but tickets are good for both days).

Tickets are $10.00 in advance or $12.00 days of tour. As usual advance tickets will be available for purchase at the Old Louisville Information Center- in Central Park (502) 635-5244. Tickets may also be purchased securely online at or email at (Visa and MasterCard accepted).

Volunteers are always appreciated and rewarded with a free tour ticket. If you would like to volunteer for a shift as a garden monitor or need other general information, contact the Garden Tour Chairperson Tim Bottorff at 637-5026.

Old Louisville FarmWorks Market Opens for the Season

The Old Louisville FarmWorks Market takes place every Wednesday, 3-6PM, June 4-October 16, at the Walnut Street Baptist Church parking lot, Third and St. Catherine Sts.

Fresh seasonal produce such as greens, tomatoes, flowers, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, apples, watermelon, green beans, blackberries and more is available direct from local farms.

May 17th Oak Street Clean-up a Success

Approximately 95 friends and neighbors joined to clean up and beautify Oak Street on a rainy Saturday. Details coming in next month’s OL Journal on who did what.

Greenbacks for Your Outback:

Save on a new lawnmower with buyback program

Need a lawnmower and want to do your share for cleaner air? The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District is offering a $100 rebate when you trade in your high-polluting gas-powered lawn mower for a new clean electric (cordless or corded) mower. A $50 rebate (with trade) is also available for a new push/reel mower.

If you don't have a lawnmower to trade, you can still take advantage of the rebate offer: receive $50 back when you purchase a new electric lawnmower and $25 for a new push/reel mower.

Louisville Metro residents who purchase a new electric or reel mower in the metro area can take their old mower to one of these Metro Recycling Center locations: 595 Hubbards Lane or 7219 Dixie Highway. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, beginning April 15.

Did you know that mowing for one hour with a gas-powered mower creates as much carbon monoxide and smog-forming chemicals as driving 200 miles in a late model compact car? Trade that mower in and try maintaining your green space without the extra noise, smells and pollution.

Contact Phyllis Fitzgerald at 574-5322 or for more details.

First Sunday Concerts
in Central Park

Mary Martin, OLIC Board member, and Joan Stewart, OLNC Vice-Chair, sell First Sunday coffee mugs at the concert on May 4th which featured the Rob Nickerson Group. Lush Life performed on June 1st.

The Flying Martinis will be featured in concert on Sunday, July 6th from 3-5PM. First Sunday Concerts are generously funded by Metro Councilman George Unseld. Admission is free.

Gumby is back in High School

Gumby of Gumby's Custom Catering at 2nd and Hill Streets has opened the Garden Room Café at the Spectrum Building, the old Male High School at 911 S. Breckenridge Street.

Chef Francie Prestigiacomo-Wilder has created a menu to reflect her family's Italian culinary background and love of good food. A menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts is served on weekdays. A Sunday Buffet Brunch is also offered. Reservations for brunch are recommended but not required.
Call 625-1900 or 635-0240 for reservations or a menu. 


Rekia Mahmoud: Creativity in Many Forms

Rekia Mahmoud creates jewelry as an expression of beauty. She is well known in the neighborhood and region for her handcrafted creations using silver, amber, turquoise, crystal, marble, pearls and other natural stones.

A native of Eritrea who as a teenager fled to Sudan during the worst days of Eritrea’s 30-year war of independence from Ethiopia, Rekia has led a varied and adventurous life. She worked odd jobs in Saudi Arabia and was employed by the Saudi royal family as a handmaiden to a royal princess. She eventually moved to Ohio where she ran a grocery business while raising her daughter. Rekia speaks five languages, has traveled extensively, and currently works with school and education centers to make children aware of and understanding of diversity. She will be traveling to Turkey this summer.

Rekia is also a creative cook. The Ouerbacker Court resident often brings a favorite bread or dessert to neighborhood gatherings. Many neighbors have sampled and enjoyed Rekia’s Zatar bread. Following is a history, description, and recipe for this traditional Middle Eastern flatbread:


Zatar bread is considered to be a Middle Eastern flat bread which came from the country regions of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Since people couldn’t go without bread, bakers became powerful in the Roman Empire. The Romans learned about sourdough breadbaking from the Greeks. By the First Century BC, there were over 258 bakeries in the city of Rome.

Creative and sensual meaning for breadbaking exists in all cultures.

Romans use it as a symbol of love and peace. Greeks named it "Joy of the Mountains." To the ancients, the oven represented a giant womb, a place of wonder and creation. The heat from the oven transformed the soft dough, as if a miracle took place. The metaphor is found when a pregnant woman says "she’s got one in the oven." For Christians, sacred bread was not only a special gift from God, but metaphorically was God himself in the form of the holy wafer.

What is Zatar?

"Zatar" is an Arabic word for wild thyme and is common to Middle Eastern cooking. The word Zatar is spelled Za’tar, Zaatar, and Zahtar. Zatar is an herb mixture and flavors that comes in several varieties, but it is commonly made of sesame seeds, oregano, thyme and sumac. It is eaten most often with flat bread and olive oil or yogurt cheese.

Origin/How It’s Used

Zatar is served by dipping the flat bread in olive oil. The Romans and Greeks also ate bread dry or with olive oil, and sometimes dunked their bread in wine. Mediterraneans use it as herbs to relax the stomach and help refresh memory and digestion. In the Middle East, zatar is sprinkled on ripe tomatoes or yogurt cheese that is used as a vegetable dip. Italians use zatar as a main ingredient for pizza and pasta sauce. Thyme (Zatar) herb is also used as a salad dressing by mixing two tablespoons of thyme and four tablespoons of olive oil.

There are various ways to make Zatar bread. The following is one of the recipes to make a tasty Zatar Bread.


1 cup of sourdough starter

1 cup of warm water (about 85° F)

1 teaspoon of salt

Two ¾ cups wheat flour

¼ cup zatar herb blend

¼ cup olive oil


In a mixing bowl, dissolve the starter in warm water, about 85° F. (Replenish your starter with about 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water.) The starter will begin to dissolve as soon as you start stirring it. After a minute or so, stir in the salt and 1 cup of flour. Put about 1-1/4 additional cups of wheat flour, and when the mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl, turn it out on your floured work surface.

Knead in approximately another ½ cup of flour. Work for about 5 minutes until dough becomes silky. Place the dough in an unoiled bowl and cover to keep the dough from drying out. Set in a warm place, about 80°F, for 3 to 5 hours. Then, turn the dough out onto your floured work surface.

Grease the bottoms of 2 standard-size uninsulated cookie sheets with olive oil. Then, using a sharp knife, divide the dough in two. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough to a uniform ¼-inch thickness.

Place dough on cookie sheets where it should easily fit. With your hand, spread a liberal coat of olive oil across top of dough. Spread 1/8 cup of zatar herb on each bread to be. Once again, spread a liberal coating of olive oil, but this time, on top of the zatar. Mush it around a little, and the zatar will stick better. Cover and let unbaked bread sit for about 30-minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F and bake for about 15 minutes or until done. ("Done" does not mean brittle). Use insulated cookie sheets if bread bottoms are hard and tough. Zatar breads should be soft. If you forgot to preheat your oven, just bake the breads for an extra 5 minutes.

When baked: take flat breads from the oven, cut into small sections as needed and use bread to wipe up any olive oil remaining on the cookie sheet. If no olive oil is left, pour a little olive oil in a bowl, dip in the breads and eat while warm.

Makes 2 Flat Breads

Editor’s Note: For more information about Rekia’s jewelry, contact her at 635-9261 or 

         Association    Chairperson     Number

  • 1300 S. Third Street Chuck Anderson 636-3396

  • Belgravia Court Hank Triplett 636-2925

  • Central Park West Penny Johnson 636-1675

  • Conerstone Area Ron Loughry 583-2984

  • Fourth Street Dot Wade 635-7885

  • Garvin Gate Bob Laufer 637-3266

  • Ouerbacker’s Arts & Crafts Jeff Schooler

  • ILB&PA Gary Kleier 634-1006

  • Old Louisville Shalom Com. Peter Barnes-Davies 634-9694

  • St. James Court Louise Shawkat 637-3606

  • Second Street Jerry Birschbach 635-0220

  • Third Street Mary Martin 637-4000

  • Toonerville Ken Cordle 637-4514

  • Treyton Oaks Jane LaPin 587-1028

  • West St. Catherine Street Rhonda Williams 584-9231

Thank you Old Louisville

Dear Old Louisville Neighbors and Friends,

Marjorie and I thank all of our Old Louisville neighbors, friends, city officials, and business associates who were involved in planning, organizing, attending, and participating in our evening of honor on Thursday, May 15, 2003, at Masterson’s Restaurant.

The event was billed as an evening of fun and neighborhood camaraderie, and all the folks who attended and with whom we spoke indicated they had a really good time and enjoyed the evening.

Marjorie and I had a great time, and we appreciated all the kind remarks (and some of the other remarks) that were put forth. We also appreciated visiting with some folks we had not seen in a long time.

Marjorie and I especially thank John Sistarenik, OLNC Chair, and those that worked with him. You all did a great job, and I give you a B+.

Old Louisville is truly a great neighborhood with a cosmopolitan citizenry. Every corner of our neighborhood has a history and architecture that creates a sense that our neighborhood is a special place. We are the stewards of this place at this time in history.

We have accomplished much. City officials who work with our on a daily basis comment that the Old Louisville community sets the pace and sets much of the standard as compared to other neighborhoods.

However, we have much more to do. As Councilman George Unseld has stated on a number of occasions, "When we all pull together, we can accomplish anything."

That spirit was very much in evidence on the evening of May 15 at Masterson’s Restaurant.

Again, Marjorie and I thank you all for your honor.



A Signature Gate for Old Louisville

Two tall columns, which light from within at night, now grace the entrance to Old Louisville at the I-65 south exit ramp at St. Catherine Street. Along with the attractive landscaping, they provide a welcome to our neighborhood.

Rhonda Williams, Chair of the West Saint Catherine Neighborhood Association, spoke at the dedication of this Signage and Wayfinding project in April. Following are her comments:

I suppose you could call this a monumental day for West St. Catherine Street, for Limerick and Old Louisville, and for the city at large.

We stand here to celebrate a project over two years in the making, the spearhead and the model for Metro Louisville’s Signage and Wayfinding Campaign. As we are all beginning to realize in the newly merged city, the growth and character of our community is dependent largely upon neighborhood identity and integrity. That is what the Signage and Wayfinding Campaign is all about: identifying distinctive neighborhoods within the city and providing inventive and attractive ways to point to their presence.

Of course, we feel that our street and our neighborhood are among the city’s truly distinctive areas. West St. Catherine, with its prominent exit off Interstate 65, has become a sort of "gateway" to Old Louisville-the principal route to one of the most compelling architectural and preservation districts in the Eastern United States. We can hope that these striking new obelisks will help signal our presence to tourists and, in the long term, to new residents and businesses.

Philosophically, though, we are also considering a larger purpose.

Those of us who live in the Old Louisville and Limerick districts have made a commitment to the city core. We believe that the possibilities and potential of Metro Louisville depend in a large part upon our attention to the heart of the city-its older, traditionally urban neighborhoods. As the heart goes, so goes the rest of the city, we believe, and one of the early steps to a vibrant and vitalized Louisville is attending to the riches we already have, preserving our heritage not only as an architectural showpiece, but as a lively and productive urban district.

This project could not have been undertaken without the vision and the unqualified support of our Councilman, George Unseld. From the beginning, he has been a tireless advocate of what you see in place today. His office has been behind us financially, tactically, and even spiritually. His know-how and hard work on these matters have only been matched by his kindness and encouragement. And as this display lights up at night signaling our city’s renewed and renewing optimism, we should thank George deeply for providing the first, affirmative candle.

Rhonda Williams, Chair - WSCNA


A Coffee Shop for Old Louisville

The Old Louisville Coffee Shop will open early next month at Fourth and Hill. It will feature coffee, espresso, loose-leaf teas, bagels, pastries, sandwiches, and ice cream by the cone and quart.

Kim Hundertmark, owner/manager, hopes the shop will become a community gathering place for Old Louisville. She plans to have exhibit space for art and to have craft and jewelry items for sale. Live music is planned at some point in the future.

The shop will be open Monday-Saturday, 7am-1:30pm and 4:30pm-8pm; Sunday, 7am-2pm.


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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