City Orientation Walk (Self Guided), Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky's largest city, is a treasure trove of themed attractions. History and science buffs will certainly take interest in the Frazier International History Museum, Louisville Science Center, and the Thomas Edison House. If you're big on sports, consider the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, celebrating baseball, and the Muhammad Ali Center. If you're keen on whiskey, you might be willing to check out Whiskey Row. To find all these sites in one go, follow this orientation walk.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Louisville (See other walking tours in Louisville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
Author: Cathy
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Metro Hall
  • City Hall
  • Frazier International History Museum
  • Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
  • Louisville Science Center
  • Muhammad Ali Center
  • Whiskey Row
  • Waterfront Park
  • Thomas Edison House
  • Big Four Bridge
1
Metro Hall

1) Metro Hall

The Louisville Metro Hall, formerly the Jefferson County Courthouse or Louisville Courthouse, is the center of Louisville's government. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Construction began in 1837, and both the City of Louisville and Jefferson County governments starting using it in 1842.

The architect, Gideon Shryock, had intended for the courthouse to have a six-column Doric portico, a cupola, and additional porticos on the wings. The building would be completed by metopesand plain friezes as a full entablature, and engaged pilasters regularly sequenced. Shryock resigned from the project in 1842. It was finally completed in 1860, with Albert Fink, a bridge engineer, and Charles Stancliff in charge. Fink reduced the number of columns for the Doric portico, and did not build the additional porticos and cupola. The Louisville Daily Journal said it was a "elephantine monstrosity".

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
City Hall

2) City Hall

The City Hall of Louisville's construction took place between 1870 and 1873. While the exterior of the structure remained allmost unchanged throughout its history, the interior was exposed to a number of grand restorational works. The architecture of the building is a succesful combination of Second Empire, Italianate, Beaux Arts and Romanesque Revival. In 1909 an attachment was linked to the main building. The annex was designed in Greco-Roman style by Cornelius Curtin. The most beautiful part of City Hall is the clock tower, which was completed three years later after the building itself.
3
Frazier International History Museum

3) Frazier International History Museum (must see)

The Frazier International History Museum is a three-storey expositional place named in honor of its initiator - Owsley Brown Frazier. The seven thousand square meters of the museum house an immense collection of historically important items, mainly weapons and armors belonging to the UK and the US armies. Some of the showpieces date from the eleventh century. Visitors to the museum will also be delighted to watch live performances by interpretors in costume, diverse movies and other multimedia presentations. The Frazier International History Museum has a gift shop and a cafe. Visitors are welcome Monday - Saturday: 09.00 - 17.00; Sundays: 12.00 - 17.00.
4
Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

4) Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory (must see)

Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is the most unusual looking museum in Louisville due to the thirty-four tons of steel baseball bat leaning against its building. The interior of the museum contains a big collection of objects related to baseball, especially bats belonging to some of the baseball legends. Besides the exhibition area, visitors are welcome to watch how bats were manufactured in the past. Another attractive thing about the Slugger Museum is that it contains a factory where tourists are able to learn about the modern technology of bat manufacturing, and even order a personalized one. The museum is open Monday - Saturday: 09.00 - 17.00; Sundays - 11.00 - 17.00.
5
Louisville Science Center

5) Louisville Science Center (must see)

The Louisville Science Center is one of the most popular places to visit in the city. Initially, in 1871, the museum was opened as the Public Library System of Kentucky's cabinet of curiosities. Today, the museum has the largest hands-on exhibition in the state. The four floors of the center contain approximately one hundred and fifty interactive exponents, from which visitors can learn incredible things about the human body, chemistry, physics and other fields. The center also has a great IMAX cinema theatre where visitors can choose from a wide selection of educational movies. The Louisville Science Center is open Sunday - Thursday: 9.30 - 17.00; Friday - Saturday: 9.30 - 21.00.
6
Muhammad Ali Center

6) Muhammad Ali Center (must see)

Muhammad Ali Center is a museum that opened in 2005 in honor of the world famous champion. Its construction is most unusual and special. The interior of the center presents Muhammad Ali's biography, his values and principles. A special theatre allows guests to learn about the champion's life from the very beginning. Several screens are installed to show visitors Ali's most famous fights, as well as interviews and other moments reflecting his life and career. Two art galleries are part of the center too - Howard L. Bingham Gallery, exposing photographs of the boxer and LeRoy Neiman Gallery, where visitors are welcome to admire paintings reflecting the champion's fight moments. The center is open Tuesday - Saturday: 9.30 - 17.00; Sundays: 12.00 - 17.00.
7
Whiskey Row

7) Whiskey Row

Whiskey Row in Downtown Louisville is considered a historic heritage of the city. It was named this way due to the initially elevated number of buildings with whiskey shops and distilleries. All the buildings in this quarter utilized cast iron architecture, but the styles of the structures differ. Besides New York's SoHo district, the Iron Quarter, which is the other name of Whiskey Row, has the biggest number of cast iron structures. The most talented architects who worked on the design of the buildings were John Andrewartha, Henry Whitestone and Dennis Xavier Murphy. Recently, the quarter obtained the status of National Landmark.
8
Waterfront Park

8) Waterfront Park (must see)

The Waterfront Park is one of the biggest and most amazing parks in the city. It is located on the beach of the Ohio River. It was developed in three important phases, the first one being initiated in July 1999. Since then it was enriched with a large number of attractions fit for a public park. Visitors will be delighted to walk on the wide paths, rest on the lawn, admire the beautiful fountains and the new Lincoln Memorial and watch the kids play at the immense playground. The Waterfront Park hosts many concerts, fests and other public events every year.
9
Thomas Edison House

9) Thomas Edison House (must see)

Thomas Edison House is an important attraction and an object of pride for the Louisville inhabitants. This is where the famous inventor and scientist used to live and work during his stay in Louisville. It is a shot-gun duplex that used to be a very common sort of house in the city. The interior of the house contains many unique objects invented by Edison, including some phonographs (his favourite invention), a picture projector and a kinetoscope. Visitors are welcome to the Thomas Edison House Tuesday - Saturday: 10.00 - 14.00.
10
Big Four Bridge

10) Big Four Bridge

The Big Four Bridge is an enormous bridge crossing the Ohio River and connecting Louisville and Jeffersonville. Initially, the bridge was supposed to serve as a railroad passage and it did from 1929, when it was built to replace a smaller bridge, until 1968. Today the bridge is abandoned, but it serves as a nice addition to the river's appearance. In the near future, there are plans for the Big Four Bridge to be transformed into a passage for pedestrians and bicycles.

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