The Braille Monitor                                                                                               April, 2002

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Getting Around Downtown Louisville

by Dennis Franklin

From the Editor: Dennis Franklin is First Vice President of the Kentucky affiliate and a long-time Louisville resident. Here he takes the time to conduct a walking tour of the area around our headquarters hotel. This is what he says:

The skyline of Louisville
The skyline of Louisville

Getting around downtown Louisville is relatively easy with a few simple directions. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern running either north/south or east/west. Traveling south on Fourth Street from the Galt House, you cross these streets: Main, Market, Jefferson, Liberty, Muhammad Ali Boulevard, Chestnut, and Broadway. Traveling east on any of these streets from Fourth Street, you cross Third, Second, First, Brook, Floyd, and Preston. Traveling west, you cross Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth.

If you were doing all this traveling, what might you see along the way? Let's walk south along the east side of Fourth Street. After we cross Main, we come to a trolley stop, where we could board a trolley going to the Riverfront Wharf, which I will tell you more about later. Continuing south, just before we reach Market Street, we pass Kunz's Restaurant, a longtime favorite for lunch and dinner. Before crossing Market Street, we can turn left and travel one block east, cross Third Street, and arrive at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Crossing Market Street on the east side of Fourth Street brings us to the Kentucky International Convention Center, which covers that entire block. Crossing Jefferson, we find the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Continuing south across Liberty Street, we pass an office tower and a Dooley's Bagels and come to the entrance of the Galleria. This downtown shopping center lies on both sides of Fourth Street with a glassed-in atrium crossing above the street to connect the two sides. In the Galleria you will find Dillard's Department Store, a card shop, a candy store, and CVS pharmacy. There is also a food court with several choices for your dining pleasure.

Passing through the Galleria and crossing Muhammad Ali Boulevard brings us to the Seelbach Hotel, located on the west side of Fourth Street. Continuing south on the east side of Fourth Street, just before you reach Chestnut Street is a Walgreen's Drug Store. A half block after crossing Chestnut Street, we pass the Palace Theater and then come to the Theater Square area, where several restaurants particularly good for lunch can be found. Beyond Theater Square and before you reach Broadway is the Brown Hotel with its restaurant, the English Grill, where a local favorite, the famous Hot Brown, was created.

Another way to travel Fourth Street is using the Toonerville II Trolley, which is free. It operates on weekdays from 7:15 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. It travels along Fourth Street from the Galt House to Theater Square, except that on its southward trip it travels along Third Street between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, and on its northward trip it travels along Fifth Street between Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Liberty Street. After 10:30 a.m. every other trolley leaving Theater Square circles the Riverfront Wharf instead of going to the Galt House. If you want to go to the Riverfront Wharf, you can board this Trolley at any northbound trolley stop, up to and including Main Street. You can ask the driver if he is going to the Galt House or the Riverfront Wharf, to be sure you are boarding the one you want.

The Belle of Louisville is docked on the wharf at the foot (north end) of Fourth Street. Just east of the Belle is the Star of Louisville, which offers daily dinner cruises. Continuing east, we find Joe's Crab Shack, featuring excellent seafood in a casual atmosphere. Just past Joe's we arrive at the Waterfront Park, a large open space, where festivals or fireworks sometimes take place, but it's always a nice place to take a walk or let the kids enjoy the playground equipment.

As I said earlier, you can reach this area on the trolley or, if you prefer, you can walk. Go to the north end of Fourth Street on the lobby level of the Galt House, go down the steps, and follow the pedestrian walkway, which passes under I-64, and down more steps to the Wharf.

Now let's travel west on Main Street. On the north side, just west of Fifth Street, is the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Continuing across Sixth Street are a couple of blocks of restored nineteenth-century buildings. After crossing Seventh Street and going about a half block further, we come to the Louisville Science Center, which boasts many interactive displays for young and old alike. After crossing both Eighth and Main Streets, we find the Louisville Slugger Museum. Be sure to check out the world's largest bat, located outside this building.

By traveling east on the south side of Main Street, about a half block from Fourth Street, we come to Actors Theater of Louisville. About six blocks farther east, on the north side of Main Street is Slugger Field, the home of the Louisville Riverbats.

You can also reach any of these points of interest on the Main Street Trolley, which is also free and which can be boarded at any trolley stop along Main Street (westbound) or Market Street (eastbound) between Tenth Street and Clay Street. This trolley operates on weekdays from 6:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and weeknights from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. when the Riverbats play at home and on Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Unfortunately we do not yet have schedule information for the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Actors Theater, the IMAX Theater at the Louisville Science Center, or the Riverbats; but we should have the schedules at our information tables during the convention. Y'all come!

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