Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, and it's famous for being both the home of the Kentucky Derby and the economic center of the state. The city's nickname is the "Possibility City." In 2008, the U.S. Conference of Mayors voted Louisville America's most livable large city. In the state of Kentucky, 12 of the 15 buildings taller than 300 feet are found in Louisville.
Louisville is located on the Kentucky-Indiana border in North-Central Kentucky. Since 2003 it has been the county seat of Jefferson County. The city is 399 square miles in area with a population of more than 256,000, making it one of the 30 largest cities in the United States.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
The city's location near the middle of the United States has made it an important center for transportation. Louisville has a number of major employers:
- The United Parcel Service has its "Worldport" global hub in Louisville, employing more than 20,000 workers.
- Gordon Food and Marketplace, a food service distributor, employs more than 11,000 employees.
- Norton Psychiatric Center employs more than 10,000 workers.
The bourbon-whiskey industry is also big in Louisville and one-third of all the bourbon produced in the world comes from Louisville. Other important industries in the city include healthcare, construction, educational services, accommodations, food services and finance and insurance.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
With a total area of 399 square miles, Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky. The city accommodates about 121,100 houses with an occupancy ratio of about 92 percent.
The downtown business district of Louisville is located immediately south of the Ohio River, and southeast of the Falls of the Ohio. There are many modern skyscrapers downtown, as well as older, preserved structures. The Louisville skyline is slated to be changed by a proposed 62-story Museum Plaza as well as a 22,000-seat waterfront arena. The airport is located approximately seven miles south of the downtown area, and the industrial sections of town are located to the south and west of the airport.
Most of the residential areas of the city are located to the southwest, south and east of downtown. The area with the lowest median home price is west of Interstate 65, in the West and South Ends. The middle range of home sales prices are between Interstates 64 and 65 in the South and East Ends, and the highest median home sales price are north of Interstate 64 in the East End.
Popular residential neighborhoods include:
- Downtown and Portland are the oldest neighborhoods, both located along the riverside.
- Butchertown, Phoenix Hill, Russell, Shelby Park, and Smoketown are northern and eastern neighborhoods that developed as the population grew.
- The Old Louisville neighborhood is the largest historic preservation district, and it features Victorian homes and buildings.
Louisville offers an extensive list of attractions for visitors:
- Historic sites include the Belle of Louisville, a fully restored steamboat that visitors can tour.
- The Filson Historical Society and the Conrad-Caldwell House take visitors back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
- The Muhammad Ali Center shares the life of the great boxer by teaching visitors about the values that Ali used to succeed in his life.
- The Louisville Zoo and the Six Flags Kentucky Palace are also popular attractions in the city.
- The Kentucky Derby has been at the center of horse racing for more than 130 years. The event draws around 150,000 spectators, and it takes place at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.
- Louisville Waterfront Park: This 72-acre park is located between the Ohio River and Downtown.
- Iroquois Park: The 739-acre park has a variety of athletic facilities, hiking trails, horse-riding trails, picnic areas and playgrounds. The park is also home to the 2,400-seat Iroquois Amphitheater, which features performances of all kinds during the summer.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Frazier International History Museum: By means of a movie theater, an auditorium and three floors of exhibits, the museum helps visitors relive the historical events that changed civilization.
- Speed Art Museum: The Speed Art Museum features art that spans 6,000 years. Admission to the permanent collection is free.
- Actors Theatre of Louisville: Located in Downtown Louisville, the theater has played a major role in revitalizing American theater for more than 30 years. Three Pulitzer Prize-winning plays premiered here, and different types of performances are offered year-round.
- Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts: The epicenter for the arts in Louisville and the surrounding area, the center features a wide variety of productions.
- Louisville Palace: Exhibiting a Spanish baroque motif, the theater hosts popular concerts and movies.
Louisville sports fans have a variety of professional and semi-professional home teams to root for:
- Baseball: Louisville Bats, the AAA minor league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The team plays in the International League
- Football: Louisville Bulls, of the semiprofessional Mid Continental Football League
- Australian-Rules Football: Louisville Kings
The University of Louisville in particular has given fans a lot to celebrate. The baseball team participated in the College World Series in 2007, and the football team won the FedEx Orange Bowl in 2007. All of the sports teams are named the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville is home to the Valhalla Golf Club, which has hosted such events as 2004 Senior PGA Championship and the 2008 Ryder Cup.
Louisville is home to number of private and public colleges, universities and career schools:
- University of Louisville
- Spaulding University
- Bellarmine University
- Sullivan University
- Jefferson Community and Technical College
- Indiana Wesleyan University (headquartered in Marion, Indiana)
- Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
- McKendree University (headquartered in Lebanon, Illinois)
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Daymar College (headquartered in Owesnboro, Kentucky)
- Louisville Technical Institute
- Spencerian College
- Donta School of Beauty Culture
- Hair Design School
- Trend Setters Academy of Louisville
- National College of Business and Technology