Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 Things You Didn't Know About Louisville, KY

Nancyanne and I moved to Louisville 11 years ago when Aaron was 18 months old.  We knew very little about our new home.  Boy, were we surprised!

1) Kentucky was the 15th state to join the Union in 1792.  It was brought in as a Southern state to counterbalance Vermont, which was the 14th state.  This gives our state a colorful history dating back to the American Revolutionary War.

2)  Louisville was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark.  Clark's younger brother, William, was the leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition that led to the westward expansion of the United States. 

3) During the Civil War, Louisville and Kentucky were firmly in the Union.

4) The U.S. Census Bureau considers Kentucky a Southern state.  However, Nancyanne and I feel that Louisville is clearly Mid-western.  We live less than 3 miles from Indiana and we are an easy 4.5 hour car ride to the Hancock Building in downtown Chicago.  Southern twangs are rarely heard.

5) The 2009 U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the population for Louisville was 721,594 inhabitants; this makes Louisville the 17th largest city in America.  The metropolitan area had 1,258,577 putting us 42nd overall.  Ask anybody: we live in a big town, not a big city.

6)  The Old Louisville neighborhood (south of downtown) is the largest historic preservation district solely featuring Victorian homes and buildings in the United States.

7) In 2005, Louisville was ranked the 7th safest large city in America.  We hope it stays that way!

8) Louisville is the City of Parks.  The park system in Louisville was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 19th century.  Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture, also designed Central Park in New York City and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  Olmsted put his stamp on 18 of the 123 parks in Louisville.  Our home is less than 1 mile from Cherokee Park, which is the largest and most visited park that Olmsted designed.  30 years after Olmsted built the park system, his architectural firm designed our neighborhood.  Our home was built in 1925!

9) Louisville International Airport is the 4th busiest airport in the United States in terms of cargo passage, and it is the 11th busiest in cargo passage in the world.  This is due to United Parcel Service (UPS) locating their global air hub in Louisville.

10) Notable Louisvillians: Thomas Edison, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Muhammad Ali, primatologist Dian Fossey, Johnny Unitas, Diane Sawyer, and Tom Cruise.

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