About Old Louisville
The Old Louisville Neighborhood Council is a 501c (3) organization of 21 member neighborhood associations representing the 12,000 residents and businesses of Old Louisville. For over 40 years, the OLNC has sought community based solutions to problems. Through the tireless efforts of many residents, these historic homes have been saved and restored.
Neighborhood leaders have fought urban blight, leading to rejuvenated communities. Together we plant trees, work in a community garden, act as good stewards of Central Park, work on zoning issues, set up neighborhood watch programs, give to the most vulnerable in our community and support our local businesses. Yet, we are always striving to do more.
Our commitment to the arts is unparalleled. The St. James Court Art Show has grown from a sidewalk display of art on clotheslines to one of the nation’s largest outdoor art shows drawing 300,000 people each October. We are home to the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, the oldest in the United States, every summer. The Garvin Gate Blues Festival is now one of the most prestigious blues festivals between Chicago and Mississippi. And, SpringFest is a lively Toonerville neighborhood street fest of music, food and fun. New this year is Old Louisville Live! performances in Central Park which will showcase gospel music, children’s percussion, dance music, the ballet, chamber music with a contemporary twist, classical guitars, and steel drums. All of these events depend on an army of volunteers! We believe the arts foster the best sense of community.
The OLNC established a gateway to Old Louisville through its Historic Old Louisville Neighborhood and Visitors Center in Central Park. We offer historic architectural tours, educational seminars, and enrichment tours such as the popular Holiday Home Tour and the Victorian Tales of Terror. We proudly promote the Hidden Treasures Garden Tour.
United we are always stronger. OLNC recently spearheaded an Old Louisville Arts Council to partner with the Filson Historical Society, the Conrad Caldwell House Museum and the Asia Institute Crane House, the Louisville Free Public Library, the University of Louisville, the Kentucky College of Art and Design and Vault 1031. We seek collaboration on many levels to enhance the quality of life of our residential and collegiate communities.
Today, Old Louisville is home to Genscape a leading provider of data and intelligence for the global commodity and energy markets. A “#1 Best Place to Work in Kentucky” company, Genscape brings its entrepreneurial spirit to the neighborhood. Soon, we will also have the Edison Center which will house several government offices and 300 employees. Mayor Greg Fischer recently noted, ““The city’s move into The Edison Center bolsters the positive development already happening in this celebrated Victorian neighborhood.” But in many ways, it is the small business or restauranteur which is at our heart. We are working to support their efforts to thrive.
To advocate, promote, and protect Old Louisville’s historic architecture and streetscapes within a diverse neighborhood of residents and businesses while advancing artistic and cultural events to build community.
- To be the official voice of Old Louisville, serving as a strong advocate for a safe, clean, healthy community where all can flourish.
- To preserve and protect one of the nation’s oldest historic preservation districts of Victorian mansions, as well as its distinctive 19th and early 20th century homes and landscapes.
- To encourage heritage tourism for enrichment and educational purposes.
- To promote artistic and educational events within this culturally diverse neighborhood, thereby building community and fostering cooperation.
- To promote neighborhood revitalization and business development.
Meet the Executive Board
Shawn Fields Williams
Leah Stewart has lived in Old Louisville for 20 years in what is still often referred to as “the new house.” She owns Louisville Dessert Truck and is president of the Louisville Food Truck Association. She is currently the Chair of the Business Task Force. Most recently, she was elected as Vice Chair of the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council. Leah is also the current chair of the 600 Block West Magnolia Association. She and her husband, Gordon, live on Sixth Street in Old Louisville.
Eric Cowley was born and raised near Elizabethtown, KY and has resided in Old Louisville since 2007. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky with a focus in music and finance. He is an active member of Central Park West Neighborhood Association and is currently serving his second term as the OLNC Treasurer. Previously, he also served as Treasurer of Preservation Louisville. By day, Eric is a Semonin Realtor and enjoys spending his free time cooking, volunteering, and playing trumpet.
Ashley Peak, M.D.
Ashley is a native of Kentucky, born and raised in Owensboro. After completing undergraduate studies in music at the University of Kentucky she relocated to Louisville for medical school in 2002. She is a current member of the Central Park West Neighborhood Association. By day Ashley enjoys her career as a local physician in private practice. Her other interests include: travel, playing piano, playing clarinet with the Louisville Winds, reading, and exploring Louisville. She is excited to serve the neighborhood as the newly elected Secretary of the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council.