Recent transplants from the West Coast, Kris and Kirk Stewart have immersed themselves quickly and deeply in Old Louisville. They are actively involved in the neighborhood and still find time to enjoy their beautiful Victorian Home.
Originally from Ventura, California, Kris attended the University of Oregon where she met Kirk in a racquetball class. They began dating and finished their Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science (Kirk) and Art History (Kris). They were married in 1991. After college the couple moved to Portland, Oregon, for Kirk’s job in sales, and later to Seattle, Washington, where they lived for the next 16 years. During much of this time Kris was self-employed, running her own bookbinding company, Scroll & Ink Bookbinding, while also being a stay-at-home mom. Kirk moved to Louisville in 2015 for a new job while Kris stayed behind for eight months while their son, JD, finished high school. As the advance guard, Kirk was charged with house-hunting for his family throughout Louisville. Their research led them to believe that the Highlands would be where they would purchase a home.
They wanted to live within walking distance of shops and restaurants and be close to downtown, where Kirk was living temporarily. He spent several weekends touring homes throughout the Highlands, which were beautiful, but in the end, just didn’t feel “right.” Kirk and Kris have long been avid walkers, so Kirk ventured out on his own and happened onto the area just south of downtown – Old Louisville. It wasn’t long before he knew that he had found somewhere they would both love. As he walked through the neighborhood, Kirk was impressed with its walkability and became enamored with the old Victorian homes. When Kris came out to visit, he took her for a stroll through the neighborhood and she, too, fell in love with the charm of the old mansions, the many walking courts, and so many other things about Old Louisville. After looking at a few homes online, they realized that real estate prices in Old Louisville were a far cry from those in the Northwest, so they began their search in the neighborhood for their perfect home. After seeing homes on Belgravia Court and W. St. Catherine, Kirk walked into their current home, 1316 S. Brook Street, and knew it was the house for
them. The expansive kitchen was perfect for Kris and the third floor had space for her bookbinding business – and there was a bedroom for their son when he came home from college. The only thing that was missing was a garage (which they would later build). Site unseen, Kris flew out to Louisville on the day of the closing and couldn’t view the home until hours before they signed their paperwork! But just as Kirk expected, she, too, immediately fell in love.
Built in 1897, this 3,200 square foot home was first inhabited by Lafayette W. Lindley, a local lumber company owner and mayoral candidate. He lost the election and his business failed shortly thereafter, so his family moved out within two years. Over the next 50 years the home was occupied by various doctors, bankers and engineers, some of whom rented out rooms on the second and third floors. In 1951, 1316 S. Brook Street welcomed its most colorful resident, Mr. Isreal Golden, who moved in with his wife and son. He was a local grocer who owned a series of markets, including Golden Supermarket a couple blocks away close to First and Oak Streets. In 1955, shots were fired on the home’s front lawn in a botched holdup for a day’s market receipts! Mr. Golden was injured two years later at his market during an armed robbery. In 1961, he and his wife were surprised by masked gunmen inside the home as they returned from work one evening. A shootout ensued in the dining room, where Mr. Golden was shot multiple times. He tried to shoot back but his son had removed the first bullet in his gun as a safety measure. Amazingly, he survived that ordeal, too, and the intruders were later arrested. Detectives found eight slugs in the walls downstairs! After the Golden family
left, the home was divided into apartments for a short time, but the Stewart’s can’t figure out exactly how they were arranged. William Dellinger purchased the home in 1980 and converted it back to a single-family home. In 2012 or so, there was a construction-related fire on the third floor.
The home retains some of its original features including pocket doors and the newel post. While Kris and Kirk haven’t had to do a lot of work to the house since moving in two years ago, they have put their touches on a few things – excavating part of the backyard to build a garage, refinishing the fireplace in the second-floor family room, replacing the front walkway, removing a corrugated metal awning from the front door, and spending a significant amount of time re-landscaping the backyard. The home also contains a few notable and cherished art pieces, including an original painting of Muhammad Ali by K.O. Lewis, purchased at the St. James Court Art Show, and an original Christopher Burkett photograph in the dining room. Kris’s grandmother’s childhood rocking chair is in the living room. Tourgoers will also get to see Kris’ Santa Claus and reindeer ornament collection displayed on the dining room Christmas tree.
The Stewarts’ careers and neighborhood involvement keep them very busy. Kris owns Scroll & Ink Bookbinding, which is housed on the third floor of their home. She is also chair of the Second Street Neighborhood Association’s Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour. Kirk currently works at Car Keys Express and is the president of the Toonerville Neighborhood Association and chair of Old Louisville’s SpringFest. The couple can often be found on long walks throughout the neighborhood with their dog Lucy or attending various festivals and events throughout Old Louisville.