Michelle and Nick Kilby are quite busy living and working in Old Louisville. They are very actively
involved in the neighborhood while juggling full-time careers and renovating their beloved old
Michelle grew up in Lexington and Nick in Louisville. Both decided to become Wildcats at the
University of Kentucky. However, it was off campus while working at an Italian restaurant that
their paths crossed in 2012. Shortly after they began dating, UK won the National
Championship – a true sign they were meant to be (according to them)! After graduating with
Bachelor’s degrees, both went on for more schooling at UK, Michelle earning a Master’s degree
in linguistics and Nick a Master’s degree in public policy.
After graduation Michelle was offered a job at the University of Louisville, while Nick took a job
in Frankfort working in public policy and administration. They made the dual-city careers work
for their relationship. After several years of dating, Nick proposed to Michelle while hiking at
Red River George and the couple was married in Georgetown in 2015. They decided before
their marriage that they would move to Louisville, a place that both knew they wanted to be.
Their first home as a married couple was an apartment in St. Matthews, where they lived for a
year. They knew they wanted to live closer to downtown but wanted time amidst their wedding
planning and busy lives to find the right home in the right neighborhood. They house-shopped
in Crescent Hill, the Highlands, and elsewhere. But once they began looking in Old Louisville,
they were hooked. Michelle loves older homes and there are few places in the city that offer as
much home for the price!
During Derby weekend 2016, they purchased their home at 1329 S. 2 nd Street. Built in 1880, this
2,400 square foot home was one of the earliest residences in this section of 2 nd Street. Michelle
and Nick both fell in love with the yard and the “doable” projects that would need to be
completed – including removing a LOT of wallpaper! Original owners Emily and Edward Warren
left their mark on the home’s Italianate facade by placing intricate details outside of the front
window that form an E and W. There’s also a placeholder plaque for the years they lived there,
a feature the builder incorporated into many other homes. Michelle and Nick purchased the
home from Ginny Keen, the home’s longest owner, who grew up in the house next door. Ginny
purchased 1329 S. 2 nd , the Kilby’s current home, when she married in 1967, and lived there for
the next 40 years. (Interestingly, 1329 S. 2 nd was one of the homes featured on the very first Old
Louisville Home Tour in 1977!) Other than the Warrens and Ginny Keen, there were 16 previous
owners, most of whom stayed for very short segments. Several original features in the home
remain, including the woodwork, floors and pocket doors, which are still operational. The floors
in the kitchen, installed by Ginny, were made from wood salvaged from the gym floor at the old
Male High School. The windows in the kitchen were all custom built.
Since moving in, Michelle and Nick have undertaken several renovations on the home: stripping
wallpaper from the ceilings; painting every room in the house (after stripping them of
wallpaper); replacing the water heater and plumbing; installing a new air conditioning unit and furnace; removing an aged deck and back porch; re-working the back yard to create off-street
parking. They are currently in the middle of a kitchen renovation and hope to continue
enhancing the landscaping in both the front and back yards. Renovations planned for next year
include refinishing all the woodwork, mending the hardwood floors, and beginning
improvements on the second floor.
Tourgoers will see several interesting pieces of artwork displayed throughout the home,
including three paintings in the dining room done by Michelle’s grandmother, a UK print from
the St. James Court Art Show (also located in the dining room), and a working record player.
Michelle also displays her grandmother’s tea set, which has been passed down throughout her
Michelle works as an Executive Assistant at Ernst and Young and Nick works for the Council for
State Government’s Air Pollution and Environmental Policy division. In addition to their full-
time jobs and house renovations, they are both also actively involved in the neighborhood.
Michelle serves on the Second Street Neighborhood Association’s Hidden Treasurer’s Garden
Tour Committee and Nick is President of the Second Street Neighborhood Association. Nick also
served on the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council’s Economic Development Committee, was a
member of the Summer 2016 Ignite Louisville Class, and attended the Center for
Neighborhoods Training in Spring 2018. Michelle and Nick also spend as much time as possible
just getting out and walking around the neighborhood, enjoying its many festivals, activities and
beautiful scenery. They make frequent trips to Central Park with their dog, Abbie. The couple
loves spending time with friends at the Old Louisville Brewery, where they can also be found
working part-time a few evenings a month, where Abbie assists behind the bar!