Metro Councilman David James helping to improve Central Park [Opinion: The Arena]

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Louisville's beautiful Central Park

Walkers, joggers and neighbors who use Central Park will notice something new when passing through the park. Councilman David James (Dem., 6th Dist.) has led an effort to install five new large windows in the Old Louisville Information Center (OLIC), home to the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council and various other neighborhood groups.

The effort restores the James- Old Louisville_0.jpghistoric structure to its original look when its archways were first constructed in 1904.  “Any time we can enhance the beauty of Central Park it helps to maintain the historical significance of Old Louisville,” says James. “I am proud that we have brought more light and life to our neighborhood building and I congratulate the neighborhoods and organizations that worked with me to make this a reality.”

For many decades the building’s five archways have been cemented over, not allowing sunlight to come through into the building. The original design allowed for the building to serve as an open pavilion to the community.

Central Park 0112b.jpg

The open shelter straight ahead now houses the Old Louisville Information Center.  On the left, where the indoor pool was, is now the 5th District Police Station.

The Old Louisville Neighborhood Council along with several neighborhood associations, other non-profit organizations and civic-minded private companies in Old Louisville collaborated to make the windows a reality. In total, the cost for the windows was approximately $27,500.

“This is a perfect example of groups coming together for a common cause and making a noticeable difference in our community,” said Joan Stewart, Chair of the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council. “I couldn’t be happier that this long-time dream has become a reality, and I thank Councilman James for taking the lead to get this done.”

“”This has been a legacy project that all of Old Louisville can cherish,” said Ron Harris, Chair of the OLIC Building Restoration Committee. “This is something real and beautiful that we can leave behind for future generations.”

Central Park 0112c.jpgThe following groups were involved in the effort:

  • - St. James Court Neighborhood Association
  • - 1300 Neighborhood Association
  • - 3rd Street Neighborhood Association
  • - Larry Franklin Law Office
  • - Kentucky Shakespeare

frederick-law-olmsted8.jpgCentral Park is a 17-acre municipal park located in the center of the Old Louisville neighborhood, and was first developed for public use in the 1870s.  During the Southern Exposition in 1883, much of the park was temporarily "roofed in" and used to showcase Thomas Edison's light bulb; one of the first large-scale public displays of the light bulb in the world.

In 1904 the city enlisted famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the man who designed New York City's Central Park and had already designed an entire park and parkway system for the city of Louisville, to plot the new park.

Learn more:  Olmstead Parks website

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