St. James Court, the Old Louisville neighborhood, and the Greater Louisville area have much to offer the culture-conscious traveler.
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Rules and Safety
Rain or shine, the St James Court Art Show™ is free and open to the general public. To ensure everyone’s experience remains safe and enjoyable, all attendees must adhere to the art show’s rules and safety guidelines.
Respect Other Art Show Patrons & Artist
- Pets are not permitted (only service animals with identification are allowed at the show)
- Bicycles, skateboards, and rollerblades are not permitted
- Musical instruments or other audible music devices are not permitted
- Solicitation is not permitted
- Inappropriate or unsafe activity will result in removal from the event premises
- Political candidates are asked to keep their “hawking” to a minimum
First Aid and Security at the Art Show
About Old Louisville
A Victorian Community in Retrospect
Old Louisville is a historic preservation district and neighborhood in central Louisville, Kentucky, USA. It is the third largest such district in the United States, and the largest preservation district featuring almost entirely Victorian architecture. It is also unique in that a majority of its structures are made of brick, and the neighborhood contains the highest concentration of residential homes with stained glass windows in the U.S. Many of the buildings are in the Victorian-era styles of Romanesque, Queen Anne, Italianate, among others.
In the 1870s, Old Louisville was originally built as a suburb of Louisville. According to historian Young E. Allison, 260 homes valued at a total of $1.6 million were constructed in Old Louisville from 1883 to 1886 making Old Louisville home to some of Louisville’s wealthiest residents. In its peak in the late 19th century, Old Louisville was the center of Louisville’s social life. The area was initially called the Southern Extension and the name Old Louisville did not come into use until the 1960s when revitalization efforts and gentrification began. Old Louisville is currently home to a diverse population with a high concentration of young professionals, students, and artisans.
The Southern Exposition
At the urging of Courier-Journal owner Henry Watterson, the city held the Southern Exposition from 1883 until 1887. In the words of Watterson, the Exposition was to “advance the material welfare of the producing classes of the South and West.” It was held on 45 acres at the heart of Old Louisville, where St. James Court and Central Park (originally Dupont Square) would eventually be located, and included a 600 by 900 foot enclosed exhibition building. The Exposition was opened with enormous fanfare by President Chester Arthur and attracted nearly one million visitors in its first year. The exhibition featured the first public display of Thomas Edison’s light bulb, as well as what was billed as the largest artificial lighting display in history with 4,600 lamps, in a time when electric lighting was considered a novelty.
St. James Court
In 1890 after the Southern Exposition site was cleared, William Slaughter led the development of St. James Court, one of Old Louisville’s most renowned neighborhoods.
Centered on the picturesque fountain, the court was envisioned as a haven for turn-of-the-century upper class and was completely occupied by 1905. Slaughter set up deed restrictions to ensure that all houses on the court were constructed of either brick or stone. From its start, court residents established a homeowner’s association, one of the oldest in the country. Described as the epitome of Victorian eclecticism, the neighborhood included homes in such styles as Venetian, Colonial, Gothic and others. The Conrad Caldwell House on the northwest corner of St. James Court prominently features the turrets, towers and bay windows associated with the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. Through the years the court has been home to several city officials, judges, doctors, writers, poets, and business leaders. St. James Court residents are proud of the unique history and friendliness the neighborhood offers. When strolling through the tree-fringed court, you too will experience a vibrancy and vitality that no suburban neighborhood can match.