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Louisville: Economy

Louisville: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

The geography of Louisville, specifically its river accessibility, central location, and mild climate have contributed to its importance as a center for industry and commerce. Kentucky has historically been a mining and agricultural state, but Louisville has greatly diversified its economic base in recent years. The city has traditionally been a manufacturing center for durable goods including appliances, cars and trucks. More recently, the area's economy has diversified, bringing with it more skilled and high-tech employment opportunities.

Like the rest of Kentucky, Louisville is undergoing a new era of economic development, with the public and private sectors working together to attract new industries while retaining existing businesses. In 2003, Entrepeneur magazine ranked Louisville #1 for "Best City for Small Business Growth." The same magazine also ranked the city #15 nationally and 2nd in the Midwest in a list of the "Top 25 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs."

The Louisville area is headquarters to some of the nation's top companies, including Fortune 500 companies Yum! Brands Inc., which includes KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken), Kindred Healthcare and Humana Inc. One of the better-known industries based in Louisville is Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the famous "Louisville Slugger" baseball bat. The headquarters for Presbyterian Church (USA) and the American Printing House for the Blind, the official source of texts for the visually impaired, are also in the city. Ford Motor Co. has two plants in the area that produce the Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer, commercial light trucks, and F-series pick-ups. Manufacturing plants for GE Consumer Products and Swift & Co. are also located in Louisville. Companies new to the area since 2000 are Charter Communications (cable TV), Gordon Foods, Linens n Things, and Reynolds/Alcoa.

The services sector is the leading economic sector in the region. In Greater Louisville, nearly 14,000 facilities employed 234,000 workers in 2001. Tourism leads the region's service industries; approximately 26,000 of these jobs are generated by the tourism industry in Jefferson County. Travelers spend nearly $1.2 billion a year in the county, and more than 880,000 convention delegates visited Louisville in 2000-2001. Greater Louisville is also an important center for local, state, and federal government agencies, which employ more than 71,000 area residents. The Kentucky Air National Guard and Army National Guard are headquartered at the Louisville International Airport's Standiford field; the U.S. Defense Department operates the Defense Mapping Agency and a veteran's hospital in the area; and the U.S. Corp of Engineers maintains the McAlpine Locks and Dam.

Items and goods produced: chemicals, automobiles, machinery, electrical appliances, processed foods, published materials, farm tools, aluminum, industrial machinery, lumber, timber products, baked goods, office products

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

Greater Louisville Inc. is the agency responsible for working with new and existing businesses to create new jobs and capital investment in Louisville. It was formed by the merger of the Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership and the Louisville Chamber of Commerce. A $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration in 2002 is providing support to Greater Louisville Inc. for the recruitment and training of healthcare workers. The award became known as the Kentuckiana Healthcare Workforce Initiative. In addition to low taxes and low costs of doing business, Louisville offers a variety of financial incentives. Among them are the Louisville Metro Manufacturing Tax Moratorium which offers new or expanding manufacturing operations a five-year moratorium on all assessed property and real estate taxes. The Louisville Metro Brownfields Loan Program provides financing for economic development in older industrial areas of the city. Greater Louisville's Foreign Trade Zone is located within Clark Maritime Center, Eastpoint Business Center, Jefferson Riverport International and the Greater Louisville Technological Park.

State programs

The following incentives are available: Kentucky Jobs Development Act, Kentucky Industrial Development Act, low interest loans, industrial revenue bonds, community development block grants, enterprise zone, foreign trade zone, Bluegrass State Skills Corporation, job recruitment and placement, and Indiana incentives.

Job training programs

The unique partnership of the University of Louisville, Jefferson Community College, Jefferson Technical College and UPS established the Metropolitan College. The College addresses workforce needs by providing special curricula and work-friendly class schedules that cater to the needs of college students who work at night, enabling them to study for technical certifications, two-year, or four-year degrees. The Bluegrass State Skills Corporation (BSSC) provides training grants and investment credits for job training projects.

Development Projects

In 2001 a $121 million, two-phase plan was unveiled for major construction and renovations at one of the area's biggest attractions, Churchill Downs. With Phase One construction finished by 2003, part of the changes included more seating, new viewing suites, a new club and meeting space, renovation of the first floor grandstand, and new elevators. Phase Two of the construction, underway in early 2005, includes modernization of the clubhouse, installation of lights around the track, new restaurant and entertainment areas, and a year-round satellite wagering facility with seating. Phase Two is expected to be completed by the 2005 Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday in May.

Construction and revitalization activity in Louisville was brisk in the mid-2000s. Recent development in the city includes the Southeastern Christian Church with its $31 million, 294,100-square-foot Worship Center, a seven-story, nearly circular-shaped structure featuring white precast concrete exterior wall panels and a copper-colored roof. The Louisville Extreme Park is a public skatepark owned and operated by Metro Louisville. Opened to the public in 2002, the park features a 24-foot full pipe, 40,000 square feet of outdoor concrete skating surface and a wooden vertical ramp for skateboarders, inline skaters, and bikers. Glassworks, an eight-story historic building in downtown Louisville, has been converted into 41 loft apartments, office and commercial space, an artglass studio and restaurant. The new 4th Street Live! is a $75 million redevelopment of the former antiquated Louisville Galleria in the heart of downtown. Opened in 2004, the refurbished entertainment and retail district offers restaurants, bars, nightclubs, a comedy club, and live music, as well as a food court and a half dozen retail shops.

Louisville also has several development projects on the drawing board or in the first stages of completion. The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage project encompasses the renovation of four historic trolley barns as a center for the telling of the story of African Americans in Kentucky. The Center, scheduled for completion in March 2005 in the historic Russell district of Louisville, houses a museum, research center, artists' studio, sculpture garden and shops. Also scheduled to open in spring 2005 is the Muhammed Ali Center, a museum dedicated to the ideals of Muhammed Ali. Exhibits showcase his biography and other Center features include educational classrooms, theater, auditorium, exhibits gallery, library, shops, and a cafe. The Louisville Medical Center Development Corporation, created to capitalize on the economic development opportunities in the Medical Center, has plans to add to its three research park facilities which currently house life science, medical device, and health care technology companies. The planned expansion includes 700,000 square feet of wet lab and office space. Two new office/warehouse facilities will be built at Freeport Center at Riverport, about 10 miles outside Louisville's central business district in a thriving part of town. Park DuValle is a new $180 million revitalization project scheduled for completion in 2008. This development will restore a 125-acre urban neighborhood and feature 450 homes, 600 apartments, schools, parks, a health center, shops, and churches.

Economic Development Information: Greater Louisville Inc., 614 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202; telephone (502)625-0000. Kentucky Cabinet For Economic Development, 500 Mero Street, Capital Plaza Tower, Frankfort KY 40601; telephone (502)564-7140; (800)626-2930. Louisville Metro Development Authority, 444 South Fifth Street, Suite 600, Louisville, KY 40202; telephone (502)574-4140; fax (502)574-4143.

Commercial Shipping

Louisville's economy is served by 40 motor carriers and Louisville is home to CSX and Norfolk Southern Railroad systems that connect the city with major markets in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Louisville is the international air-freight hub for United Parcel Service; UPS Worldport handles the twelfth-largest amount of cargo tonnage in the world and offers next-day air service to 200 markets, including China, the Far East, Europe and Russia. The Louisville International Airport handles 3.6 billion tons of cargo annually. Another important component in the local economy is the Port of Louisville, which handles an average of seven million tons of cargo yearly.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Louisville boasts a steadily growing number of workers. Between 1990 and 2000, Greater Louisville added more than 160,000 net jobs, the greatest growth in the area's history, according to The Louisville Labor Force 2003 report by the University of Louisville. The employment rate grew 13 percent during this period, compared to an 11 percent growth nationally. A key element in this job picture is the growth in female employment. While the male employment rate in the area has seen little change since 1980, the female employment rate has risen 12 percent. Also contributing to the increasingly attractive employment outlook is the growth in the area's population. Despite a twenty-year trend of low birth rates and high mortality rates, the Louisville metropolitan area population began to reverse its declines through migration to the area in the 1990s. By the new millenium, its population grew almost as fast as the nation as a whole.

Louisville's workforce continues to suffer from a lack of educational attainment, especially compared to competitive markets. Its low rate of college attainment translates into relatively low earnings for workers. But Louisville has seen an improvement in the higher education of its young adult population in recent years. In the decade 1990 to 2000, young people aged 25 to 34 completing college increased from 20 percent to 27 percent.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Louisville metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 561,400

Number of workers employed in . . .

mining and construction: 29,300

manufacturing: 72,100

transportation, communication, and utilities: 123,500

information: 11,100

financial activities: 37,400

professional and business services: 62,900

educational and health services: 70,700

leisure and hospitality: 107,100

other services: 30,300

government: 70,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $19.66

Unemployment rate: 4.2% (December 2004)

Largest private-sector employers (2004) Number of employees
United Parcel Service 17,206
Ford Motor Company 9,903
Norton Healthcare 7,850
Jewish Hospital Healthcare Services 5,450
GE Consumer Products 5,200
The Kroger Company 4,960
Humana Inc. 4,889
Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville 2,468
Baptist Hospital East 2,308
Caritas Health Services 2,147

Cost of Living

Costs are lower than might be expected in a metropolitan area of Louisville's size, due in part to the fact that the population is spread out over seven largely rural counties in Kentucky and Indiana.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Louisville area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $203,091

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 92.9 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 2.0% to 6.0%

State sales tax rate: 6.0% (groceries, medicines, and utility bills are exempt)

Local income tax rate: Averages 1.75%

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: Taxable property is assessed at 100% of the fair cash value of the property held on January 1. Rates per $100 of assessed valuation in 2003: State, $0.133; Jefferson County, $0.128; City of Louisville, $.3764; Jefferson County Schools, $0.5760.

Economic Information: Greater Louisville Inc., 614 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202; telephone (502)625-0000. Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Work-force Investment, Capital Plaza Tower, 500 Metro St., Frankfort, KY 40621-0001; telephone (502)564-6606.

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Louisville: Recreation

Louisville: Recreation

Sightseeing

Louisville offers a variety of recreational activities, from a leisurely steamboat excursion on the Ohio River to a fun-filled day at a theme park. The city's most famous attraction is Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby, held annually on the first Saturday in May. With a grandstand featuring trademark twin Edwardian spires, the track was established in 1874, and the first Derby was run the following year. Another of the area's most popular attractions is Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, a family adventure theme park featuring Chang, the tallest, longest, fastest stand-up roller coaster in the world.

The city retains a flavor of the past with its historic Main Street, a restored district that features the second-largest collection of cast-iron buildings in the United States (only New York City has more). Many homes have also been restored; regular tours are offered to visitors who wish to experience a taste of life as it was in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Among the most popular residences are Locust Grove, the last home of Louisville founder George Rogers Clark; FarnsleyMoreman Landing, a nineteenth-century Kentucky "I" house with a two-story Greek Revival portico; the Farmington Historic Site, which features octagonal rooms; the Brennan House, the last remaining private home in downtown Louisville; the Culbertson mansion, an example of Second Empire architecture; and the Whitehall House and Gardens, a classic Revival antebellum mansion on ten acres. The Thomas Edison Butchertown House/Museum, a shotgun cottage, contains a collection of Edison inventions. Tours are available at the 1871 Spalding University Mansion and at Conrad-Caldwell House, a completely renovated 1895 home in "Old Louisville," a neighborhood of elegant nineteenth-century mansions. The Filson Historic Society is headquartered in a 1900s home and features artifacts, manuscripts, portraiture, special collections, and a library for historical and genealogical research. The Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage tells the story of African-Americans in Kentucky. The Zachary Taylor National Cemetery and Monument honors the dead of many wars, and the Cave Hill Cemetery and Arboretum is a historic 297-acre cemetery and botanical garden.

Nature lovers can visit the Louisville Zoo, which displays more than 1,300 animals in a 73-acre park-like setting. Twelve western lowland gorillas are on display at the zoo's popular Gorilla Forest habitat. The Louisville Nature Center is an urban oasis where visitors can enjoy more than 150 species of birds, wild animals and flower-decked trails. Buffalo Crossing is a working buffalo ranch in Shelbyville, complete with pony rides, a petting zoo, playground and restaurant.

Several local industries provide tours of their facilities. Among them are Jim Beam American Outpost, located about 25 miles south of the city; Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat; Philip Morris, one of the largest cigarette companies under one roof; and Louisville Stoneware Company, where visitors can paint their own pottery. American Printing House for the Blind and Callahan Museum, which creates products and services for the blind and visually impaired, offers plant and museum tours. Gray Line specializes in bus tours of the city. Horse-drawn carriages ride past historical sites, and public excursions on the Ohio River aboard the Belle of Louisville, Spirit of Jefferson, and Star of Louisville can also be arranged.

Caesar's Glory of Rome riverboat casino in Elizabeth, Indiana, provides gambling entertainment just across the Ohio River from Louisville. The complex includes a 503-room hotel, a 200,000-square-foot pavilion with a sports and entertainment coliseum seating 1,500 people, three restaurants, a retail shopping area, and an 18-hole golf course called Chariot Run designed by architect Arthur Hills.

Arts and Culture

The performing and visual arts flourish in Louisville, the first city to create a community fund for the arts. The Kentucky Center has four theaters that stage a variety of performances ranging from symphony, opera, and ballet to children's theater, a Broadway series, and country music.

Louisville's historic Water Tower is the home of Louisville Visual Art Association, a nonprofit, artist-oriented organization dedicated to the creation and appreciation of visual art in all media. The center offers free art classes for talented elementary and high school students; it also hosts year-round exhibitions and special events such as jazz concerts and the Boat Race Party during Derby Week. The new Glassworks galleries feature artists from around the world, as well as glass blowing workshops and classes.

Louisville is also home to theater groups, a symphony orchestra, an opera and a ballet company. Housed in a historic landmark built in 1837, the Tony-Award-winning Actor's Theatre of Louisville is internationally known for the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, one of the world's most important showcases for aspiring playwrights; other theater groups include Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theatre, Music Theatre Louisville which performs at Iroquois Amphitheater, the Kentucky Contemporary Theatre at Spalding University, and the Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, Indiana. Stage One: The Louisville Children's Theatre offers professional productions throughout the year at The Kentucky Center. The Louisville Orchestra offers five concert series. The Louisville Ballet offers a full subscription season of classical and contemporary dance, including performances of The Nutcracker. The Kentucky Opera has produced operas in Louisville since 1952.

The museums and galleries of Louisville highlight much that is unique to the city and the region. For example, the Kentucky Derby Museum is the world's largest equine museum, offering hands-on computerized simulated racing, a 360-degree audio-visual presentation about the Kentucky Derby, and a live thoroughbred exhibit. The Howard Steamboat Museumthe only museum of its kind in the United Statesdisplays models of famous steamboats, tools, pilot wheels, and pictures. Located on the University of Louisville campus, J. B. Speed Art Museum is Kentucky's oldest; it houses collections of traditional and contemporary art and sculpture. The Louisville Slugger Museum showcases the famous bat and the history of the family that created it. Other local museums include the Eisenburg Museum; the Filson Club, which houses one of the nation's finest historical libraries; The Frazier Historical Arms Museum; and the Col. Harland Sanders Museum located at the KFC headquarters.

Among the museums dedicated to science and technology are Louisville Science Center, formerly the Museum of History and Science, which features hands-on exhibits and an aerospace collection as well as an IMAX theater. The Portland Museum features a light and sound show that carries viewers back to nineteenth-century Louisville. Located on the University's Belknap campus, Gheens Science Hall and the Rauch Memorial Planetarium offer multimedia astronomy presentations.

Festivals and Holidays

Louisville's major annual events calendar is full, beginning in February with the National Farm Machinery Show and Tractor Pull Championships, the nation's most popular and best-attended function of its kind. In April and May the city hosts the Kentucky Derby Festival offering 70 events. Held in conjunction with the running of the Kentucky Derby, it is one of the country's largest civic celebrations. The Great Steamboat Race and the Great Balloon Race are two of the more popular Derby events. The Cherokee Art Fair also occurs in April. May is the month for the Kentucky Reggae Festival.

The Greek Festival, Waterside Festival and Street Ball Showdown kick off the summer festivals and events in June. Taking place during the summer months is one of the oldest Shakespeare festivals in the nation, Shakespeare in Central Park. July brings the Operation/Coca-Cola Volleyball Classic, the Kentucky Music Weekend and the Waterfront Independence Festival celebration of the Fourth of July. The National Street Rod Association attracts more than 11,000 cars to the world's largest automotive participation event. The Kentucky State Fair runs for 10 days beginning in mid-August. The Strassenfest celebrating Louisville's German heritage and the World Championship Horse Show round out the summer activities.

September opens with the Bluegrass Festival of the United States, the country's largest free bluegrass music event featuring top-name bands. In mid-September is the Corn Island Storytelling Festival, the largest event of its kind in the United States. The Rock the Water Tower, Irish Family Festival and the Captain's Quarters Regatta are also held this month. October is the month for the St. James Court Art Show, the Bluegrass Fan Festival and the Lewis and Clark Ohio River Festival. The year ends with Christmas in the City, a Victorian Christmas celebration involving street vendors, carolers, and house tours. The Mayor's Midnight Special on New Year's eve is an outdoor family party.

Sports for the Spectator

Louisville's best-known sporting event is the Kentucky Derby. For racing fans, Louisville offers two horse-racing tracks, Churchill Downs (for thoroughbred racing) and Louisville Downs (for harness racing). Churchill Downs' spring racing dates are April through June; fall racing takes place in October and November. Louisville Downs features nighttime races in early spring, summer, and fall. Auto races are held at the Louisville Motor Speedway.

Louisville's $26 million, 13,000-seat Louisville Slugger Field is home to the RiverBats (formerly the Redbirds), a Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Slugger Field was named the 2004 Professional Baseball Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association for the second time in three years. The Louisville Fire is the city's Arena Football League team. The University of Louisville fields highly regarded football and basketball teams; the Cardinals play football at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Sports for the Participant

The Louisville park system maintains 11 urban parks, including four designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. These public parks contain more than 200 tennis courts, four 18-hole golf courses, five nine-hole golf courses, and 15 swimming pools. Twenty lakes in nine parks in the metropolitan area are stocked for fishing. Five parks located along the Ohio River provide access to river fishing. Water sports are also a favorite pastime on the river during the summer. The new Louisville Extreme Park offers skateboarding, in-line skating and biking on 40,000 square feet of concrete surface. Bicycling is a popular sport in Kentucky, and each fall the Louisville Wheelmen sponsor My Old Kentucky Home Bicycle Tour, a two-day event that draws more than 400 cyclists. Ice skating is another favorite sport; enthusiasts skate at the Alpine Ice Arena and the outdoor rink on the Belvedere downtown.

Shopping and Dining

Louisville offers a wide variety of retail establishments in more than 100 shopping centers, including enclosed malls and several neighborhood shopping areas. Starks Court atrium includes more than 30 distinctive retail shops and restaurants in the heart of downtown. The Forum Center is home to some of Louisville's most exclusive shops and Oxmoor Center features 110 specialty stores and three department stores. Jefferson Mall is a regional shopping center located near the airport. The Summit on the East End is one of Louisville's newest open air shopping centers. For outlet shoppers, Factory Stores of America is located in nearby Georgetown. In addition to the malls, many neighborhoods and individual streets have become meccas for shoppers. Main and Market Streets between 5th and 9th is the primary downtown shopping area. Antique shops, galleries and unique boutiques are plentiful in the Bardstown Road, Frankfort Avenue areas, and Chenoweth Lane in St. Matthews.

Dining in one of the city's restaurants can range from a casual meal at a fast-food establishment or a family treat at an ethnic cafe to an elegant event at a gourmet restaurant. Foods that have made Louisville famous are burgoo, originally a game stew made with squirrel, venison, or opossumbut now more likely to contain a blend of pork, beef, mutton, and chickenin a spicy tomato sauce with a mixture of vegetables that might include cabbage, peppers, and potatoes; the Hot Brown, a layered sandwich of country ham, turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and cheese served bubbling hot; and the Benedictine, a delicate sandwich incorporating cream cheese and chopped cucumber.

Visitor Information: Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, 401 W. Main St., Suite 2300, Louisville, KY 40202; telephone (502)584-2121, (800)626-5646

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Louisville: History

Louisville: History

Canal Completion Spurs City's Development

One historian has noted that chances of a settlement being established where Louisville now standsadjacent to the Falls of the Ohio on a plain along the Ohio Riverfor a long time appeared unlikely because of treacherous rapids that had forced many prospective Native American, French, and Spanish settlers to turn back. In 1773, Thomas Bullitt was sent with a small surveying party to the site to plan a town, but they remained for less than a year. Then, in 1778, Colonel George Rogers Clark, accompanied by 120 soldiers and twenty families, established the first permanent settlement on nearby Corn Island, a land mass in the Ohio River that has since been worn away by water. The following year Clark and his party moved to a fort on the mainland that served as a base for supplying Clark's expeditions into the Northwest Territory. This settlement, on the site of what is now 12th Street, was officially designated a town by the Virginia legislature in 1780 and named in honor of France's King Louis XVI for French service against the British during the American Revolution. A year later, Clark again moved his group and built Fort Nelson at the foot of present-day 7th Street.

Louisville, incorporated as a city in 1828, became an important river port because of its location on the Ohio River, a main artery for westward expansion. The economy profited greatly from the portaging of goods around the falls, but the advent of steamboats from New Orleans made it apparent that the falls were a barrier to development. In 1830 the Louisville & Portland Canal was completed, thus providing a water by-pass around the falls and opening the way for increased river traffic from Pittsburgh to New Orleans.

Cultural and Economic Growth Continues

By the mid-nineteenth century Louisville was a prosperous industrial center and had begun to thrive culturally, its citizens surprising European visitors with their sophistication and cultivated tastes. As part of the New Orleans commercial empire, Louisville attracted two new groups of people who were to make permanent contributions to the life of the citythe French from New Orleans and the Germans from Pittsburgh.

During the Civil War the city served as an important Union supply depot, but the conflicting loyalties among its residents reflected the often bitter division between pro-Union and pro-Confederate sentiments that existed throughout the state of Kentucky. After the war Louisville was forced to adjust to the collapse of the southern plantation economy; new merchandising methods were initiated and railroad links were established with other major cities in the South.

The city continued to grow, and by 1900 the population had surpassed 200,000 people. During the 1920s a building boom brought skyscrapers to Louisville's silhouette, and in 1925 an electrical power plant was constructed at the Falls of the Ohio. The city was relatively untouched by the depression, as the tobacco trade and manufacturing maintained their normal levels; federal job programs during the 1930s helped to alleviate unemployment. In the winter of 1937, the Ohio River flooded and devastated the city, but by the summer of that same year Louisville was able to resume its usual way of life through rehabilitation loans and Red Cross assistance.

The city has recently undergone extensive redevelopment and revitalization with completion of many projects including Riverfront Plaza and Belvedere, an urban plaza overlooking the Ohio River, 4th Street Live!, Glassworks, Louisville Extreme Park and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. A direct link to the past has been retained with the restoration of old buildings that are being used as museums, theaters, shops, and restaurants. A challenge for the twenty-first century is to make downtown Louisville a place where people want to live and work.

Historical Information: Louisville Free Public Library, 301 W. York Street, Louisville, KY 40203; telephone (502)574-1611

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Louisville: Education and Research

Louisville: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The public elementary and secondary schools in Louisville are part of a county-wide district operated by the Jefferson County Board of Education. The school system offers students a variety of optional programs including advanced programs for gifted students; career/technological programs for middle school students; magnet programs; strict, traditional school curriculums; trade schools; Learning Choice schools offering specialized instructional areas; and special programs for handicapped students. The Jefferson County Public School System has been recognized for its outstanding availability of technology for students. The county is home to the Gheens Professional Development Academy, a national model for teacher training. The SAT scores of county students are consistently higher than the national average. Eighty-one percent of county teachers have attained at least a master's degree. Student attendance rate was 93.8 in the 2003-2004 school year.

The following is a summary of data regarding Jefferson County's public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 97,000

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 87

junior high/middle schools: 23

senior high schools: 20

other: 23 learning centers

Student/teacher ratio: 17:1

Teacher salaries

average: $41,000

Funding per pupil: $5,463

Also operating in the area are Catholic and Christian schools, Academy for Individual Excellence, Louisville Collegiate School, Kentucky Country Day School, Summit Academy of Greater Louisville, The DePaul School, Walden School, and Waldorf School of Louisville.

Public Schools Information: Jefferson County Public Schools Administrative Offices, VanHoose Education Center, 3332 Newburg Rd., PO Box 34020, Louisville, KY 40232; telephone (502)485-3357

Colleges and Universities

Louisville has three major institutions of higher learning: the University of Louisville, Bellarmine College, and Spalding University. The University of Louisville offers Ph.D.'s in 23 areas, including engineering (its Speed School of Engineering is nationally known), medicine, dentistry, law, and education. Bellarmine College offers master of arts degrees in social and business administration, education, and nursing, in addition to 44 undergraduate degrees. Spalding University offers extensive programs for the part-time student. In the Greater Louisville region are located 20 institutions of higher learning.

Libraries and Research Centers

The main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library is located downtown, with 16 other branches and two bookmobiles throughout the metropolitan area. The library, which was founded in 1816, houses periodicals, films, records, art reproductions, government documents, and a Kentucky History and Kentucky Author Collection. It is a Federal Depository library for government documents. An even larger number of volumes is stored at the University of Louisville Libraries, home to more than 1.9 million books and special collections on Astronomy, Mathematics, and Irish Literature.

More than 30 research centers are located in Louisville; some are affiliated with local colleges and hospitals, and others concentrate on such fields as genealogy, health, engineering, law, crime prevention, and alcoholic beverage production. The Donald E. Baxter, M.D. Biomedical Research Building is part of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and one of the cornerstones for attracting new research scientists to its Health Sciences Center. Construction of a companion to the Baxter Research Building is now underway. The University's transplantation research program received international acclaim when it performed the second successful hand transplant in the world.

Public Library Information: Louisville Free Public Library, 301 York St., Louisville, KY 40203-2257; telephone (502)574-1611

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Louisville: Convention Facilities

Louisville: Convention Facilities

Louisville's largest meeting facility is the Kentucky International Convention Center, expanded and renovated at a cost of $72 million. The expansion part of the project increased the facility's exhibit space to 200,000 square feet and added a 360-seat theater and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom. The center is located in the heart of downtown and connected by skywalks to the Hyatt Regency Hotel and two parking garages. This exposition center hosts conventions, trade, civic, and entertainment events. Another downtown facility is the all-purpose Louisville Gardens, located in the shopping district. The Gardens can accommodate groups ranging from 100 to 7,000 people.

The Convention Center's sister facility, the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, is located just two minutes from Louisville International Airport. It is one of the world's largest multipurpose buildings on one floor. Offering 30 acres and 1 million square feet of space, together with paved parking for 1,200 cars, it is within easy driving distance of hotels and motels. Its indoor arena, Freedom Hall, seats 19,000 people. The six-building complex hosts more than 500 events and four million people each year. Its multipur-pose building, Broadbent Arena, is the site of tractor pulls, basketball tournaments, and graduation ceremonies. The Hilton Garden hotel recently opened there.

Unique meeting space is available on the recently renovated Belle of Louisville, a 1914 paddlewheel steamboat; the Belle hosts receptions for up to 800 people or seated dinners for up to 308 people from April through October. Spirit of Jefferson, a sternwheeler excursion boat, also hosts chartered cruises and features two indoor climate-controlled decks. The Speed Art Museum accommodates groups of up to 1,000 people for receptions and 300 people for banquets after six p.m. except Mondays and Thursdays.

Hotel space in Louisville is plentifulapproximately 17,000 rooms are available in the metropolitan area. More than 3,000 hotel rooms are located downtown, with most within walking distance of the Kentucky International Convention Center. The Marriott Louisville Downtown, which opened in March 2005 adjacent to the Convention Center, boasts 616 rooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting space. It is connected to the Convention Center via an enclosed pedestrian walkway. Other downtown properties include the 1,300-room Galt House Hotel, the 388-room Hyatt Regency Louisville, the 321-room Seelbach Hilton, the 298-room Camberley Brown Hotel, the 287-room Holiday Inn Louisville Downtown, the 182-room Doubletree Club Louisville-Downtown, and the 160-room Courtyard by Marriott Louisville Downtown. The dual appeal of a vital urban climate steeped in history makes Louisville an ideal place for large and small meetings.

Convention Information: Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, 401 W. Main St., Suite 2300, Louisville, KY 40202; telephone (502)584-2121, (800)626-5646

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Louisville

Louisville (lōō´ēvĬl), city (1990 pop. 269,063), seat of Jefferson co., NW Ky., at the Falls of the Ohio; inc. 1780. It is the largest city in Kentucky, a port of entry, and an important industrial, financial, marketing, and shipping center for the South and the Midwest. Whiskey distilling is a traditional industry in the city, which also produces the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Other manufactures include motor vehicles; naval ordnance; wood, paper, and tobacco products; processed foods; and computers and software. There is also chemical and aluminum processing and printing and publishing.

A settlement grew after George Rogers Clark built (1778) a fort as a base of operations against the British and the Native Americans. The city was chartered by the Virginia legislature in 1780, when Kentucky was part of Virginia, and named for Louis XVI of France. Louisville developed as a portage place around the falls (until a canal was built in 1830) and as a river port and major commercial center. Many famous steamboats were constructed there. With the arrival of the railroads in the mid-19th cent., the city became the terminus of both the southern and midwestern rail lines, and shipping expanded significantly. During the Civil War it was a center of pro-Union activity in the state and a military and supply base for federal forces.

The Univ. of Louisville (est. 1798), Bellarmine College, Spalding Univ., and two theological seminaries are there, as is Churchill Downs, a noted racetrack and scene of the annual Kentucky Derby (first held in 1875). The city has many parks and is the site of the state fairgrounds. It has a symphony orchestra and an opera company and hosts an annual festival of new American plays. Among the points of interest are the American Printing House for the Blind; the J. B. Speed Art Museum; the Kentucky Center for the Arts; the Muhammad Ali Center, a museum and cultural-educational center honoring the boxing champion and native; the Actors Theatre of Louisville; "Farmington," a historic home (built 1810); the Filson Club, with a historical library and museum; the Jefferson County Courthouse (1850); and Cave Hill Cemetery, where Clark is buried. Nearby are "Locust Grove," the last home (1809–18) of Clark, and the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, the burial place of Zachary Taylor. Fort Knox is in the area.

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Louisville: Population Profile

Louisville: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 954,000

1990: 949,012

2000: 1,025,598

Percent change, 19902000: 8.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 38th

U.S. rank in 1990: 43rd U.S. rank in 2000: 49th

City Residents

1980: 298,694

1990: 269,555

2000: 256,231

2003 estimate: 248,762

Percent change, 19902000: 5.0%

U.S. rank in 1980: 49th

U.S. rank in 1990: 58th

U.S. rank in 2000: 69th (State rank: 1st)

Density: 4,124.9 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 161,261

Black or African American: 84,586

American Indian and Alaska Native: 578

Asian: 3,705

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 111

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 4,755

Other: 1,709

Percent of residents born in state: 75.6% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 16,926

Population 5 to 9 years old: 17,359

Population 10 to 14 years old: 16,627

Population 15 to 19 years old: 17,362

Population 20 to 24 years old: 18,923

Population 25 to 34 years old: 37,541

Population 35 to 44 years old: 40,354

Population 45 to 54 years old: 33,755

Population 55 to 59 years old: 10,716

Population 60 to 64 years old: 9,211

Population 65 to 74 years old: 18,577

Population 85 years and older: 5,075

Median age: 35.8 years

Births (Jefferson County, 2000)

Total number: 9,565

Deaths (Jefferson County, 2000)

Total number: 7,158 (of which, 113 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $18,193

Median household income: $28,843

Total households: 111,414

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 19,542

$10,000 to $14,999: 10,471

$15,000 to $24,999: 18,883

$25,000 to $34,999: 16,258

$35,000 to $49,999: 17,695

$50,000 to $74,999: 15,227

$75,000 to $99,999: 6,654

$100,000 to $149,999: 3,990

$150,000 to $199,999: 1,193

$200,000 or more: 1,471

Percent of families below poverty level: 21.6% (61.7% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 15,439

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Louisville: Health Care

Louisville: Health Care

Greater Louisville offers world-class medical facilities; the health care industry employs more than 45,000 people, many of whom work in downtown Louisville's medical center, hospitals, and related facilities close to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Health care costs remain below the national average, and the city was one of the first in the nation to guarantee health care for the indigent. Major area medical facilities are Baptist Hospital East, affiliated with Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center; Caritas Medical Center, offering advanced treatment in cancer, pain management diabetes, and cardiopulmonary services; Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in New Albany, Indiana, which has the area's only full-service urologic center; Jewish Hospital, internationally known as a high-technology specialty center; Norton Health Care, with five locations in Louisville offering a Women's Pavilion and centers for spine, neuroscience, and cancer treatment and advanced orthopedics as well as Kosair Children's Hospital; Tri-County Baptist Hospital; University of Louisville Hospital, featuring the area's only Level I trauma center and bone-marrow transplant unit; Vencor Hospital, which treats medically complex, chronically ill patients; and Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Health Care Information: Jefferson County Medical Society, 101 South Chestnut St., Louisville, Ky 40202; telephone and fax (502)589-2001.

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Louisville: Transportation

Louisville: Transportation

Approaching the City

Louisville International Airport is located fifteen minutes from downtown and enjoys easy access to interstate highways. It is served by 10 passenger airlines and a commuter line and offers nearly 100 flights daily. The airport terminal recently underwent a $41 million upgrade to its facility, including new restroom facilities, security enhancements, smoking lounge, and business center, plus additional gates and improved signage. A new Wyndham Airport hotel connected to the terminal is slated for completion in 2006. A second, smaller airport at Bowman Field provides a variety of local and state aviation services.

Louisville is at the center of three major interstates: Interstate 65 from the north or south, Interstate 64 from the east or west and Interstate 71 from the northeast. U.S. Highway 60 (Broadway) intersects the city east and west.

Traveling in the City

Louisville is laid out on a grid pattern slightly tilted on the east-west axis. Broadway (U.S. 60) divides the city north from south, and Second Street divides east from west.

The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) provides the city's bus-based mass transit system. The service area covers the Louisville metropolitan area as well as Jefferson, Oldham and Bullitt Counties; it also includes Floyd and Clark Counties in Southern Indiana, with the state of Indiana contributing to TARC's funding.

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Louisville: Communications

Louisville: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Louisville's major daily newspaper is the Courier-Journal (morning). The Voice Tribune is a weekly business newspaper. Louisville Business First and a number of special-interest magazines are also based in Louisville, including the weekly Leo,The Louisville Defender,Snitch, the annual Kentucky Travel Guide, and the monthly lifestyle publication Louisville Magazine. Other publications serve readers involved in the building trades, agriculture, computers, and religion.

Television and Radio

Louisville is served by eight television stations. Fourteen radio stations (eight AM and six FM) broadcast a variety of musical formats plus news and talk.

Media Information: Louisville Courier-Journal, telephone (502)582-4011

Louisville Online

City of Louisville Home Page. Available www.louky.org/main.htm

Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.louisville-visitors.com

Greater Louisville Inc. Available www.greaterlouisville.com

Jefferson County Public Schools. Available www.jefferson.k12.ky.us

Louisville Free Public Library. Available www.lfpl.org

Metro Chamber of Commerce. Available www.greaterlouisville.com

Selected Bibliography

Bolus, Jim, Derby Dreams (Gretna, La.: Pelican Pub Co., 1996)

Wright, George C., Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky 18651930 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985)

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Louisville

Louisville

Louisville: Introduction
Louisville: Geography and Climate
Louisville: History
Louisville: Population Profile
Louisville: Municipal Government
Louisville: Economy
Louisville: Education and Research
Louisville: Health Care
Louisville: Recreation
Louisville: Convention Facilities
Louisville: Transportation
Louisville: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1778 (incorporated 1828)

Head Official: Mayor Jerry E. Abramson (since 2003)

City Population

1980: 298,694

1990: 269,555

2000: 256,231

2003 estimate: 248,762

Percent change, 19902000: 5.0%

U.S. rank in 1980: 49th

U.S. rank in 1990: 58th

U.S. rank in 2000: 69th (State rank: 1st)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 954,000

1990: 949,012

2000: 1,025,598

Percent change, 19902000: 8.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 38th

U.S. rank in 1990: 43rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 49th

Area: 66.65 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 488 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 56.1° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 44.4 inches

Major Economic Sectors: services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing

Unemployment rate: 4.2% (December 2004)

Per Capita Income: $18,193 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 15,439

Major Colleges and Universities: University of Louisville, Bellarmine College, Spalding University

Daily Newspaper: Courier-Journal

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Louisville: Introduction

Louisville: Introduction

Noted for the Kentucky Derby, mint juleps, and southern charm, Louisville preserves the best of the past while looking forward to the future. The city's economy is in transition, combining a reliance on traditional industries with redevelopment to attract new business enterprises. The face of the city has been changed by a downtown renaissance fueled by $2 billion in public and private investment. The metropolitan area spans seven counties in Kentucky and Indiana and boasts the advantages of both urban and rural living. Today, the city boasts a thriving art community, an affordable cost of living, eclectic neighborhoods, safe streets and a diverse population. The 2000 edition of Places Rated Almanac ranked Louisville the 14th-best place to live in North America. The city where for more than one hundred years the best thoroughbreds in the world have run for the roses has moved full-stride into the twenty-first century.

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Louisville: Geography and Climate

Louisville: Geography and Climate

Louisville is located on the south bank of the Ohio River, about 377 miles above its confluence with the Mississippi River. Beargrass Creek and its south fork divide the city into two sectors with different types of topography. Louisville's eastern portion, with an elevation of 565 feet, is hilly, while the western part, lying in the flood plain of the Ohio River, is flat, with an average elevation of 465 feet. The climate is variable because of the city's position in mid-altitudes and in the interior of the continent; in both winter and summer there are hot and cold spells of brief duration. On the average, winters are moderately cold and summers are very warm.

Area: 66.65 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 488 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 31.7° F; August, 75.8° F; annual average, 56.1° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 44.4 inches

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Louisville: Municipal Government

Louisville: Municipal Government

In January 2003, Louisville became the first major metropolitan city in three decades to merge its city and county governments. The Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government, dubbed "Louisville Metro," is led by Mayor Jerry E. Abramson and a 26-member Metro Council. Abramson is the former mayor of Louisville, in office from 1985 to 1998. Louisville Metro serves a community of approximately 700,000 people. The new government is focused on working on economic development, transportation, increasing research efforts to bring high-tech jobs to the area, land-use and workforce training.

Head Official: Mayor Jerry E. Abramson (since 2003, current term expires 2007)

Total Number of City Employees: 6,243 (2005)

City Information: Louisville Metro Hall, 527 W. Jefferson, Louisville, KY 40202-2814; telephone (502)574-2003; email mayor@louky.org

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Louisville

Louisville City in nw Kentucky, USA, a port on the Ohio River; largest city in Kentucky. Established as a military base in 1778 by George Rogers Clark, it was named after Louis XVI of France. Host to the famous Kentucky Derby, the city has many stud stables. Industries: bourbon whiskey, tobacco, domestic appliances, synthetic rubber. Pop. (2000) 256,231.

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Louisville

Louisvilleanvil, Granville •Jacksonville • Nashville •Greville, Neville •Melville • Grenville • weevil •Merthyr Tydfil • Louisville •Mandeville • Stanleyville • Knoxville •Orville • Townsville • Léopoldville •Huntsville • Elisabethville •vaudeville • Bougainville •Brazzaville • chervil • tranquil •Anwyl • pigswill • jonquil •whippoorwill • frazil • fusil

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