My sister Diane and I flew to Louisville, KY on Sept. 30th for the purpose of attending the annual St. James Court Art Show. We met our sister Leslie and other family members while we were there. Louisville, named after King Louis XVI of France, has a very interesting history from being the place where Thomas Edison lived and invented the light bulb to the world famous Kentucky Derby.
Friday’s weather was perfecto! We tootled around and ogled the 1880s Victorian mansions, the majority of which were built of red brick. They were erected by the eras multi-millionaires, most of whom were in industry and manufacturing.
There were blocks and blocks of these magnificent homes with three stories and basements, 12-foot ceilings, stained glass, and winding staircases. We were able to go into two of them, one was being estate-saled and not regal. The other had been turned into a historic bed-and-breakfast with antiques and authentic furnishings. The owners, Robert and Eva Wessels, were from California; they bought it in 2004 and moved there in 2009 to open their business. It is spectacular and even more awesome for the scrumptious gourmet food Eva makes and serves every day. http://www.centralparkbandb.com/ (Have a look for yourself.) They are booked through 2013 for the Kentucky Derby weekend.
This 1894 mansion is home to the Old Louisville Candy Company, famous for its homemade bourbon balls, which they refer to as “Happy Balls.” Diane bought a box of the chocolates, filled with bourbon and topped with pecans.
As we passed by all these well-maintained structures, it made me reflect on the architecture and construction of houses built during the last 60 years. Only a small percent will survive another 100 years; they just are not built strong enough – they certainly aren’t stunning enough to preserve.
There are a dozen or so for sale, but they are not cheap. The Central Park they surround was designed by New York’s Central Park architect, Frank Olmstead. He also designed two other Louisville parks: Cherokee Park and Shawnee Park.
We were not able to take pictures of all the places we passed. Tall trees obscured many of them. Although it was autumn and we were expecting beautiful fall foliage, we saw only one red-leafed tree. The area has been months without rain…until we came. A front came in on Saturday and showered the area for a couple hours, half of which we spent at a fun eatery called “Lynn’s Paradise Cafe.”
During our long-weekend stay, we crossed the Ohio River several times to eat and visit family in Jeffersonville and Clarksville, IN. Sunday, we went to Bob Evan’s for lunch with our 87-year-old Uncle Norman, Mom’s brother. He’s a real character – onery but a snappy dresser!
(In order of appearance, cousin Cindy, Mom’s cousin Janie, Diane, Uncle Norman, me, and Leslie from Tennessee.) All of us were born in Jeffersonville and hope to visit again next summer.