The Braille Monitor                                                                                       April 2003

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Getting Around Downtown Louisville

by Dennis Franklin


The skyline of Louisville
The skyline of Louisville.

From the Editor: Dennis Franklin is first vice president of the Kentucky affiliate and a longtime Louisville resident. Here he takes the time to conduct a walking tour of the area around our headquarters hotel. This is what he says:

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 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 come to the entrance of the Galleria, which we understand will be under renovation this summer. We will provide updates about the progress of this construction project at the Kentucky Information Table in the Galt House lobby.

Since the Galleria will probably be unavailable to us, we will turn right on Liberty Street to avoid the construction and go west to Fifth Street. Here turn left and proceed south to Muhammad Ali Boulevard, where we can turn left to return to Fourth Street. Turning right on Fourth 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 Chestnut Street is a Walgreen's Drug Store. Half a block after Chestnut Street we pass the Palace Theater. Across the street is Cunningham's Restaurant and then the Theater Square area, where several restaurants can be found that are particularly good for lunch. 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 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 between the Galt House and 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 the lobby level of the Galt House, and follow the pedestrian walkway, which passes under I‑64 and down the 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, you find a couple of blocks of restored nineteenth-century buildings. After crossing Seventh Street and going about half a 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 Bats.

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 Bats 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 Bats; but we should have the schedules at our information tables during the convention. Y'all come!

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