Old Louisville
Exuberant, Elegant, and Alive

David Dominé
Photography by Franklin and Esther Schmidt


"The beautiful 248-page large-format book is filled with hundreds of glossy photographs, illustrations and maps. Old Louisville is more than just eye candy, though. Dominé details the history, architecture and current state of 50 homes in the historic neighborhood."
—Sarah Duncan, LEO Weekly

"Old Louisville is a joyous celebration of one of the most unusual preservation districts in the country, a collection of detailed essays and photographs of breathtaking beauty. To say it puts this grand neighborhood on a pedestal is an understatement."
—Scott Coffman, Louisville Courier-Journal


A forty-five-square-block neighborhood in the heart of Kentucky’s largest city, Old Louisville is among the largest and most significant historic preservation districts in America. Comprising some 1,400 structures built primarily between 1885 and 1905, it is a veritable time capsule of late-Victorian and early twentieth-century architecture. The broad avenues and quiet courts of this beautifully embowered space are lined with notable examples of Gothic Revival, Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne, Italianate, Châteauesque, Second Empire, and Beaux Arts dwellings typifying the style and elegance of the Gilded Age.

Located just south of Louisville’s business district, Old Louisville arose from the expansive grounds where the great Southern Exposition amazed and inspired visitors from 1883 to 1887. Coinciding with the economic growth of this expanding river city, the development of Old Louisville reflected the exuberance of its patrons and their architects as many of the designs combined various elements of diverse styles with sometimes whimsical and often strikingly delightful results.

Old Louisville: Exuberant, Elegant, and Alive takes an intimate tour of fifty residential designs, from grand mansions to cozy cottages, from familiar house museums and boutique hotel adaptations to private homes of charm and sophistication. Many of these residences have never been opened to the curious eyes of readers who are fascinated with old homes and interior design and intrigued by the skill and imagination necessary to rescue endangered buildings and convert them to the needs and comforts of modern living. Old Louisville is alive today with the busy activities of commerce and creativity. It is abuzz with people heading off to work at an office downtown or to a studio downstairs, while next door or down the block new neighbors are hunkering down to restore an old gem from a bygone era. Street fairs and art festivals roll with the vitality of contemporary life in a historic setting, and the pleasant sounds of Derby party celebrants mingle with the echoes of those now past.

Old Louisville celebrates the architectural context of this remarkable neighborhood and commemorates the passion and the dedication of those who have recognized the value of its past and have sacrificed to preserve the certainty of its future.

Distributed for Golden Coast Publishing Company

Page count: 248 pp.
300 illustrations, featuring color contemporary photographs with archival images and maps
Trim size: 10 x 12


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List price: $50.00

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David Dominé is a Louisville-based author of numerous books about Kentucky and its past. From ghost stories to bourbon recipes, his writings bring to life the spirits of Old Louisville, an exuberant and exciting neighborhood he calls home. Franklin and Esther Schmidt are a photographer/stylist/writer team who shoot for art, decorating, historic, and travel magazines; their assignments have taken them to every contiguous state in the U.S. This is their fifth heavily illustrated, large-format book. Raised in New York City, they now live in a rural Virginia farmhouse. For further information: www.FESchmidt.com.