Old Louisville Historic Tour (Self Guided), Louisville

Old Louisville is a perfect area in which to travel through the history of the city. It is where the oldest and most special buildings and other reminders of the past are concentrated. Structures of the most diverse ages and architectural styles are adorning the streets of Old Louisville. Take the present self-guided tour to learn many interesting facts about the city's past and admire the beauty of the old park, churches and palaces.
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Old Louisville Historic Tour Map

Guide Name: Old Louisville Historic Tour
Guide Location: USA » Louisville (See other walking tours in Louisville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Author: Cathy
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Greater Bethel Temple
  • Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church
  • The Filson Historical Society
  • Central Park
  • West End Baptist Church
  • Conrad-Caldwell House
  • Pink Palace
  • Werne's Row
  • Church of Saint Philip Neri
1
Greater Bethel Temple

1) Greater Bethel Temple

Greater Bethel Temple is a pentecostal apostolic church situated in Old Louisville. The building sheltering the present church is the former church of the Adath Israel congregation. The design of the structure was developed by the architectural firm McDonald and Dodd's members, J.F. Sheblessy and Kenneth McDonald. The construction was completed in 1906 and was dedicated in the same year. The design of the temple belongs to the classical revival architectural style. It was made of Bedford Limestone, which represents one of the highest qualities of limestone in the country. The facade of the building is adorned with six grand columns supporting a portico with a religious message engraved on it.
2
Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church

2) Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church

Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church is home to a congregation that was formed in 1888. Some remains of the old building is contained within the new one, which was built in 1902 in Gothic architectural style. In 1922, a Sunday School was attached to the church. After the Louisville flood in 1937, the structure underwent major renovation. The newest annex of the church is a Chapel called Sallie Smyser which was created in 1957.
3
The Filson Historical Society

3) The Filson Historical Society

The Filson Historical Society, formerly the Filson Club, was created in May, 1884 and was named in honor of the famous historian - John Filson. The founder of the society was Reuben T. Durrett and nine other Louisville inhabitants. The building of the society also houses a small historical museum, where visitors are welcome to learn many interesting facts about Louisville's past. The structure housing the Filson Society is called the Ferguson Mansion and it was constructed between 1901 and 1905 by Edwin Hite Ferguson. When the construction was completed, the Ferguson Mansion was declared the most expensive home in the city.
4
Central Park

4) Central Park (must see)

Central Park in Old Louisville has a long and interesting history. It was created in 1904. The idea of creating a green venue for the inhabitants of the city belonged to Frederick Law Olmstead. The park was designed as a place of relaxation where people could have a walk, admire the pond, have a picnic or play tennis. Central Park often hosts diverse concerts, celebrations and oher events. A playground is also available.
5
West End Baptist Church

5) West End Baptist Church

The West End Baptist Church, which was initially built as St. Paul's Episcopal Church is one of the most beautiful Gothic structures in Old Louisville. The architects who worked on the design of the building were the famous William J. Dodd and Mason Maury. The most special feature of the building is the square tower, ornate with numerous decorational elements.
6
Conrad-Caldwell House

6) Conrad-Caldwell House (must see)

Conrad-Caldwell House, or Conrad's Castle is a splendid mansion located in Old Louisville. It was constructed for Theophilus Conrad - a rich businessman in 1895. After the owner's death the house was bought by the Caldwell family. They lived in the mansion for thirty-five years. After the Caldwells, the house was used as a shelter for the Rose Anna Hughes Presbyterian Retirement Home. Today the house serves as a museum. There you can admire Victorian interiors, restored and preserved, belonging to both families. The Conrad-Caldwell House is designed in Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. Visitors can visit the museum Wednesday- Sunday: 10 am- 5 pm.
7
Pink Palace

7) Pink Palace

The Pink Palace is one of the most popular buildings in Old Louisville. It was built in 1891 as a home for the Gentleman's Club and Casino. Unfortunately, the club enjoyed the palace only for a few years. Later it was purchased by a family who made it their home. After 1910, the building was bought by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the palace was painted in pink, which is today its distinguishing feature. The palace is a structure made of bricks. Its design follows the Victorian architectural style with details of Ecletic and Chateauesque. It was built in the style of French palaces. The Pink Palace has the reputation of a haunted house.
8
Werne's Row

8) Werne's Row

Werne's Row is a row of five similar houses located in the center of Old Louisville. Joseph Werne, a rich jeweller and antiques salesman was the one who ordered the present mansions for his children. Construction was completed in 1895. The Chateauesque late Victorian houses were designed by William J. Dodd - a famous architect of that period. Even if the houses look very much alike, beautiful decorational details are attached to give each building a personal and unusual style.
9
Church of Saint Philip Neri

9) Church of Saint Philip Neri

The Church of Saint Philip Neri is a Catholic church located in the center of Old Louisville. The construction of the structure took place in 1896. It was named in honor of this important religious personae. The Renaissance architectural style was used in the construction of the church. The interesting thing about the Church of Saint Philip Neri is that it represents a similar yet smaller version of the Church of Gesù in Rome.

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