New program encourages visitors to become #LandmarkLovers
In a united effort to promote history and tourism in Jefferson County and beyond, eight National Historic Landmarks representing the most historically significant sites in the area have united to form a new organization, National Historic Landmarks of Louisville.
The group includes Actors Theatre, Belle of Louisville, Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires, Life-Saving Station #10, Locust Grove, Louisville Water Company Pumping Station No.1 and Water Tower, the U.S. Marine Hospital and Zachary Taylor’s Boyhood Home.
“There’s only one Louisville, and Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires, the Water Tower, Actors Theatre and the other national landmarks are synonymous with who we are as a city,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “I’m excited that National Historic Landmarks of Louisville will be promoting these places of culture and history. I encourage every citizen to learn more about the landmarks of Louisville, because their history is our history.”
National Historic Landmarks of Louisville is launching a new program to encourage people to visit six of the eight sites that are currently open to the public. (The U.S. Marine Hospital is closed to the public. Zachary Taylor’s Boyhood Home is a private residence).
“The eight National Historic Landmarks of Louisville will connect you to our nation’s vibrant past in a way that cannot be experienced through images, film or the pages of a book,” says Anna Gibson Holloway, PhD, Maritime Historian, with the Park History Program, National Park Service. “Local preservation efforts are key to keeping these Landmarks accessible to current and future generations of Louisville citizens and to those visitors from around the world who come to experience Louisville’s hospitality and heritage.”
Guests can get a special pass validated at each of the public National Historic Landmark sites when they visit, and then bring the pass to the Louisville Visitor Center at 301 S. Fourth St. to receive a gift. The passes are available at any of the landmarks and the Louisville Visitor Center. Visitors are encouraged to use the hashtag #LandmarkLover to share their experiences via social media.
More information for each of the historic landmarks is listed below.
(*Marks National Historic Landmarks designation date)
- ACTORS THEATRE (*1971) Theatre that inspires community. Located in the Bank of Louisville building (1837), a top example of small-scale Greek Revival architecture. 316 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202, 502-584-1205, ActorsTheatre.org
- BELLE OF LOUISVILLE (*1989) Oldest operating river steamboat in the country. She is steam powered with engines built in the mid-1890s and paddlewheel-driven. Built in 1914, the Belle is the only U.S. river steamboat to reach the age of 100. 401 West River Road, Louisville, KY 40202, 502-574-2992, BelleOfLouisville.org
- CHURCHILL DOWNS’ TWIN SPIRES (*1986) Constructed in 1895, the Twin Spires are a recognized landmark and symbol of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. Experience them daily through tours with the Kentucky Derby Museum. 700 Central Avenue, Louisville, KY 40208, 502-637-1111, DerbyMuseum.org
- LIFE-SAVING STATION #10 (*1989) Only inland life-saving station in the country. Original station installed at Louisville in 1881 because of the hazards of the Falls of the Ohio. Current station is third version, built in 1929. 401 West River Road, Louisville, KY 40202, 502-574-2992, BelleOfLouisville.org
- LOCUST GROVE (*1986) This c.1792 Georgian mansion tells the story of Louisville founder George Rogers Clark, William and Lucy Croghan, their family, and over 40 enslaved individuals who lived and worked on this early Kentucky farm. 561 Blankenbaker Lane, Louisville, KY 40207, 502-897-9845, LocustGrove.org
- LOUISVILLE WATER COMPANY PUMPING STATION NO. 1 AND WATER TOWER (*1971) In a structure built in 1860, the WaterWorks Museum welcomes visitors to learn about the company’s contributions to safe drinking water through history, and innovations in science and engineering. 3005 River Road, Louisville, KY 40207, 502-897-1481, LouisvilleWaterTower.com
- U.S. MARINE HOSPITAL (*1997) Opened in 1852, the Hospital (later the Public Health Service) is the last remaining of seven inland Federal hospitals that served river boatmen, Civil War causalities & community health. Not open to the public. 2215 Portland Avenue, Louisville, KY 40212, 502-772-8551, MarineHospital.org
- ZACHARY TAYLOR’S BOYHOOD HOME (*1961) Constructed in 1790, this boyhood home of the 12th President of the United States is also known as Springfield. The home is now a private residence. Not open to the public. 5608 Apache Road, Louisville, KY 40207