Vivir en LouisvilleIyna Bort Caruso
Bourbon, boxing legends and world-famous baseball bats are Louisville classics along with one other big brag: the Kentucky Derby. America’s longest held sporting event is best enjoyed Louisvillian-style – sipping a traditional mint julep.
The state’s largest city sits on the Ohio River in bluegrass country. Its culture is a mix of southern and Midwestern, urban and small-town, modern and historic. Named for King Louis XVI of France, Louisville was founded in 1778. Just over a century later, the father of American landscape design, Frederick Law Olmstead, created the city’s park system. It would be Olmstead’s last. His work continues to shape the city’s landscape and people’s interactions with its green spaces.
Today’s Louisville is progressive and culturally diverse. Aside from the Kentucky Derby, its only-in-Louisville attractions include the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience on “Whiskey Row,” the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory and the Muhammad Ali Center, dedicated to the boxer who was born and raised here. Ali’s childhood home on the west side of the city recently opened as museum.
The neighborhood of Old Louisville has the largest collection of Victorian-era houses in the United States, nearly 48 blocks of well-preserved homes. Downtown’s West Main District is known for its buildings of cast-iron facades while the neighborhoods of Butchertown, Germantown and Portland have a sizeable share of historic “shotgun” homes, narrow structures with layouts somewhat similar to railroad-style. Louisville’s architecture is an eclectic mix, with city institutions built in French Empire, Italian Renaissance and Greek Revival styles and office and residential buildings taking the form of skyscrapers and lofts overlooking the Ohio River.
East of downtown are some of the most affluent residential areas of Greater Louisville. They also happen to be among the highest income per capita communities in the state. Some started as summer colonies for the wealthy in the 19th century and evolved into full-time suburbs. Enclaves like Anchorage, Glenview, and Mockingbird Valley are among the prestigious neighborhoods of estate homes, horse farms and historic manors set among woodlands, rolling hills and bluffs.