February 8, 2016 — Written By Kim Mowder
When I relocated to Old Louisville 12 years ago, I had lived all over the United States but never in Kentucky. I did some online research about the area and almost immediately fell in love with the historic homes of Old Louisville. The first weekend we visited, trying to decide if we would make the move, it happened to be the weekend of the annual Old Louisville Garden Tour. The tour gave us insight into the way this neighborhood works together and how the people here live. We met people on the street that were true ambassadors and told us all about the homes and the people living here. We asked about the bed and breakfast inns in the area and were given a tour of the DuPont Mansion. I was invited to a neighborhood meeting the following week. There I met more warm and friendly people who would eventually become my neighbors. We noticed uniqueness of purpose, the diversity of residents, and the determination to preserve and improve the neighborhood. We saw an opportunity to get involved. And when we made Old Louisville our home it became a big part of our lives.
There are so many reasons to love living here – This is truly a neighborhood in every good sense of the word. People work and play together. We belong to a neighborhood gourmet club, and enjoy the company and food of our wonderful friends who live just around the block and down the street. I enjoy the numerous opportunities to participate in activities including social, recreational and community focused events. The book club, the neighborhood walking tours, Shakespeare in The Park each summer, and activities like Tai Chi that take place at the neighborhood center are indications of the vibrancy of our residents.
On every block our neighbors are making repairs on their homes and working in their yards. There is a great pride of ownership here. Living in Old Louisville is a unique, diverse experience where neighbors really care about and for their homes, the history of the neighborhood and each other.
The way the neighbors “own” the neighborhood was most surprising. Individuals here take responsibility for neighborhood upkeep far beyond what the city provides. The passion neighbors have in taking control of issues and finding creative ways to solve them is unique.
I talk to everyone I come in contact with about our neighborhood. Sometimes visitors tell me I sound like a human advertisement. I LOVE OLD LOUISVILLE is not just a slogan. It is my state of mind. When talking to potential renters in the area or folks thinking about opening a business here I emphasize how wonderful life is in Old Louisville and encourage them to become a part of it.
Of course there will always be things that need improvement –this is the way of the world. Crime is not a bigger problem in Old Louisville than in other parts of the city. Yet, I hear from people around town that they think we live in a high crime area. That simply isn’t true. Statistics published by the city police department show that our crime level is no higher than in The Highlands or any other area of town.
I wish there were a great Mexican restaurant and a gourmet breakfast place on Oak Street. I also long for a pet groomer in the neighborhood. The one thing I dream about is that one day we will be able to walk to all the services we need and never have to leave Old Lou.
My husband and I sometimes talk about what we would do if we won the lottery. The conversation always comes back to our lovely neighborhood. We would buy all the boarded up buildings, renovate and restore them to their original purpose. Then we would offer grants for other homes in the neighborhood that need renovation but whose owners cannot afford it. Soon all the beautiful homes and commercial buildings in our neighborhood would be restored to their former glory.
I can’t wait for the next chapter in Old Louisville’s history to unfold. We are on the brink of a wonderful time where I see more businesses moving in and more people walking in the neighborhood. Already I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in young families and love to see the children out on our sidewalks enjoying a beautiful day with the backdrop of our fantastic historic buildings. What a great place to call home!