Louisville Magazine

FEB 2019

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

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24 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 2.19 THE BIT JUST SAYIN' Call me back- ward-thinking, but I can stare at old maps of Louisville for hours on end — in particular, these days, a six-foot-square 1884 map of Butchertown/ Clifton that the Filson Club helped me photocopy from the original Atlas of the City of Lou- isville published that year. The hand-drawn map shows all the structures that lined the streets The Way We Were A cartographic look at history unfolding. By Jack Welch apartment complex. In the late 19th century a roadway named Gregory Street bisected the site, leading to the mammoth American Distilling Co. (aka National Distilling) at the top of the loop. Across Beargrass to its west stood the R.P. Pepper Distillery, accessed by another since-disappeared thorough- fare, Thorn Street. Today, if you approach that acreage from the other side of the middle fork, Mellwood Avenue near Crazy Daisy Antique Mall, you'll find a vast no-man's-land of warehouse and railroad switching-yard footprints (and a hidden Beargrass bridge), remnants of the bygone era depicted on the map. Whereas the Butchertown street grid had been long established and populated by 1884, Clifton east of Charlton Street (partially removed to create the Mellwood exit of today's I-64W) was mostly a newly drawn street grid with few structural or human occu- pants, save for the Kentucky School for the Blind, built in 1853 and largely responsible for west Clifton's annexation by Louisville in 1856. (The rest of Clifton would be annexed be- tween 1895 and '97, along with a big portion of the Highlands.) At map-drawing time, the East Main Street extension began at Charlton, a half-mile closer to downtown than today, and the approach street to the School for the Blind was not desig- nated Stoll Avenue but instead Asylum Avenue. All interesting stuff for a his- tory-diver searching for pearls. and provides the names of all the churches, schools, property owners and businesses, which at that time meant plenty of distilleries, breweries, tanneries, cattle sheds and pork hous- es, plus — a block southwest of the Bourbon Stock Yards, where the main Stock Yards Bank now stands — Woodland Garden, a beer-drinking and recreational space that was the closest thing the city offered to a public-park setting. Beargrass Creek's meander- ing middle fork, before it joins the south fork just east of the Home of the Innocents, with Clifton on one bank and Irish Hill on the other, told a much different story in 1884 than it does today. The parcel of land across Lexington Road from Headliners Music Hall, partially walled off by a deep loop in the creek, now accommodates the 300-unit Axis on Lexington Remember the joy of walking into Wild and Woolly Video on Bardstown Road? Surveying the wall of movies, zeroing in on staff picks, succumbing to the torture and thrill of realizing there's so much art and entertainment to consume. Kanopy reminds me of that. The new streaming service offered by the Louisville Free Public Library (on a trial basis for now) allows card- holding library members to access 30,000 of the world's most-acclaimed movies, documentaries, offbeat wonders and classic films. It was a delight to see that Kanopy has a whole section devoted to A24, an independent film distributor that's a favorite of mine. Visit Kanopy once and you'll be stunned at the filler and fluff on Netflix. (And I say that as someone who adores Netflix.) Bonus, for parents: A kid section has a ton of educational programming. — AM WE LOVE

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