Near to the University of Louisville campus, the Old Louisville neighborhood comes by its name honestly. One of the very first residential areas established in Louisville, the buildings are large, ornate, and steeped in local lore and history. Many of the Victorian-inspired buildings have been converted into apartments by real estate developers looking to cash in on the neighborhood’s proximity to campus, so much of the population is made up of students and staff, but there’s also an unmistakable air of “old money” in the vicinity of St. James Court and some more affluent outposts in the neighborhood. Highly walkable and with shady, tree-lined streets, Old Louisville can sometimes feel like a completely different city than the one that has sprung up around it. You’ll find all the beauty of deep Southern historical districts, with a dash of the character of the Highlands. The neighborhood is mostly quiet, with random but not “frequent” spikes in activity or noise depending on whether the Cardinals won or lost. Although with fewer dining and entertainment options than some of the other neighborhoods in Louisville, Old Louisville is centrally positioned and easy accessible to the amenities available in surrounding areas.
- Young couples in their early 30s
- College students
- Overworked, non-tenured professors
- Families with kids
Although a relatively quiet and affluent neighborhood, there are areas of Old Louisville that attract minor crime activity throughout the year. Mostly, this includes car break-ins, public disturbance, or noise ordinance violations. The lack of a sufficient grocery and retail presence is painfully apparent, and popular events like the St. James Art Fair, Garvin Gate Blues Festival, and the Iron Man competition can clog up the streets with spectators and traffic a few times a year.
The Garvin Gate Blues Festival of local and regional blues bands takes place the first weekend of October each year. Free to the public, it is a glowing example of neighborhood pride and a solid weekend of the best local blues bands.
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