Philip and Penny Brisson, originally from New York City and Baltimore, respectively, attended different colleges both located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Philip at the Eastman School of Music and Penny at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. After an exhaustive, national search, Philip was appointed the Director of Music & Organist at Louisville’s Cathedral of the Assumption in 2001. Penny, having studied intensive Japanese at Cornell University, started her career as a Market Researcher at Brown-Forman Corp and is now at the Kentucky Lottery.
The couple lived at the Crescent Center Apartments downtown for their first two years in Louisville before deciding to buy their current house in Old Louisville. A few days before the St. James Court Art Show that year, their realtor was informed that the first house they’d looked at was going to be reduced in price and open during the show. Philip and Penny got in early for one more look. This time, they were convinced that this was their home and purchased it right before the 2003 Art Show! In the fourteen years they have owned this house, Philip and Penny have spent much time and resources into updating and maintaining it, stewarding the home carefully and intentionally with every change.
621 Floral Terrace was built around 1908, originally for the Watts family. Centrally located, Floral Terrace is one of Old Louisville’s famed walking courts, featuring 21 homes that were built there between 1905 and 1912. The architecture of this home demonstrates the transition from the Victorian period to one influenced more by elements of the Craftsman style. Since it has always been a single-family home, original details such as the sliding pocket doors have been preserved as well as the staircase, newel posts, and stained glass windows in the bathroom.
Since purchasing this approximately 2,400 square foot home, the Brissons have added a first-floor bathroom, replaced exterior vinyl siding with hardy boards and cedar, renovated the second floor bathroom, and most recently, completely renovated the kitchen and extended the back of the home eight feet on the first and second floors. They also bricked in their back patio and added a deck last year, all while keeping true to the Victorian style.
Inside this home are several notable pieces. Penny has traveled extensively and has decorative items from both Japan and Morocco displayed in the living room. Also in the living room is an antique clock built by Philip’s father. In the front entry resides a walnut buffet from Penny’s grandparents. Throughout the home hangs artwork from the St. James Court Art Show and a much-cherished PARC painting done by Penny’s mom that hangs in their daughter’s bedroom.