Louisville Magazine

OCT 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1033109

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Page 39 of 144

gocards.com/tickets LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 10.18 37 ere's no mistaking, no mutating Jackie Floyd's love of Russell. It began about 30 years ago when she moved to the neighborhood. And now, somewhere in her 65-year-old heart, the rectangle bounded by Broadway and 32nd, Ninth and Market streets remains latched for life. "You know how people say they don't go to the other side of Ninth Street because they get scared? When I go past Ninth, I'm like" — she exhales, her posture and shoulders softening — "I'm home. I'm coming in a community that understands me. Ninth Street wraps its arms around me and I'm safe." She talks up her neighborhood so much that her grandkids occasionally have to remind her, "We're going to Kroger for food, so, please, no chatting with strangers about Russell." If you have the time, she won't just talk it up. She'll lead you on a tour. On an August morning, Floyd, all energy and eager smiles that showcase her high cheekbones, starts walking and waving at neighbors who holler for her — "Hey, Miss Jackie!" An unseasonably cool breeze greets us, as does a chorus of lively cicadas gathered overhead. We head west on Muhammad Ali Boulevard, taking in the sights of the largely African-American community that's home to about 9,600 people. She pauses to point out a nearly 4,000-square-foot gated brick home, one of a handful of stately houses built within the last 20 years. She pauses again at a far older, white-columned Italianate home, abandoned and boarded up. "I see the beauty in it," she says. Floyd wants a Russell renaissance, a return to its 1940s glory when the area just west of downtown was dubbed "Louisville's Harlem" due to its bustling Walnut Street corridor of nightclubs and shops. (Walnut Street became Muhammad Ali Boulevard.) Change seems guaranteed. Several big projects are slated for in and around Russell, including a $264-million renovation of Beecher Terrace that will tear down the public-housing complex and replace it with new,

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