West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association

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About Us

West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association


Origins of our association

As the homes along West St. Catherine Street are commonly referred to as being "Limerick's Mansion District", the West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association was orginally formed to further efforts intended to ensure their preservation.
Most of the homes that line our street were built in the late 1890s in a variety of Victorian style architecture. West St. Catherine Street is also home to three (3) excellent examples of gothic stone architecture in St. Louis Bertrand Church, Fourth Avenue Methodist, and Walnut Street Baptist Church (pictured).

Today, the #1 problem in our neighborhood is one of litter. To put that in perspective, however, we must consider such a problem as a step up from any of the crimes against persons. Read on to find out what we are doing to combat our common foe.

Our Efforts in the Ongoing War on Litter

Literati: The literary intelligentsia

glitterati: Informal. Highly fashionable celebrities; the smart set.

litterati: Even more informal. A dedicated band of neighbors who pick up litter.

On West St. Catherine Street, we have our own "litterati": every Sunday afternoon, a group of three or four people gather and pick up all the litter that has accumulated on our street for the last week. It's an idea that has been working, and I encourage you to start a "litterati" of your own!

It wouldn't have to be the same people every week. Nor would they have to be that literary or that fashionalbe--just dedicated and reliable. All you would need to do is organize a party of three, four, or more people who would police the street once a week, looking for litter and the opportunity to pick it up. If each of our small neighborhood associations would form its own "litterati" group, think what a difference it would make in our beautiful district.

It works! It really does! Start your own group, and help clean up our historic neighborhood!

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About our association

West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association's Mission

As is the case with most neighborhood associations, the West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association is involved, generally, in improving the quality of life and the visibility of a particular neighborhood in the city. Ours, however, is a special trust: Louisville is notable for one of the more remarkable collections of Victorian residences in the central United States, and the duties of our particular group thereby assume an historical as well as a parochial purpose.

To date, the particular activities of the organization have been confined almost exclusively to neighborhood maintenance and beautification: trees and flowers have been planted along the street; bi-annual cleanups (May and September), involving many of the neighbors in a collective effort, have assured the tidiness and healthiness of the community; and this March a turn-of-the-century stone pillar at the boundaries of the district, destroyed in an accident, has been meticulously and historically restored. In addition to maintenance, the organization promotes a community spirit through its annual Holiday Progressive Dinner, to which members of the Old Louisville surroundings are invited.

Hopes are that, as the organization raises money through its annual Victorian Ghost Tour, the increasing funds may be used educationally--to publicize the historic architecture of the neighborhood and of Old Louisville at large. But even more immediate is our need to continue funding the recent installation of historic lighting and other period additions that will distinguish West St. Catherine as one of the principal entrances to the Old Louisville historic district.

Already, our new period lighting has given an even more inviting feel to the neighborhood. Visitors to Old Louisville who come into the area via the St. Catherine exit on I-65 are faced with a more pleasant first impression, and residents are excited by the new and beautiful touch to the look of their neighborhood. But our reasons for wanting to keep these new/old lights aglow are far more wide-ranging than aesthetic.

First of all, more light makes the neighborhood safer. Greater safety will encourage the return of residents and businesses to the area, and these returns will no doubt help in the continuing revival of Old Louisville. The city at large is in the process of learning a contemporary urban truth: that we can't afford to abandon the central city to crime, pollution, and decay, because as the city goes, so goes the surrounding county.

Creating a more attractive and liveable central city is a crucial part of our mission, and the period lighting is one important early step. Still, the step is a difficult one: West St. Catherine is an economically diverse neighborhood, with elderly people and single mothers living side-by-side with more affluent single-family home-owners. We like the mix, but it means that sometimes we need to look for funding in a wider venue.

To continue to maintain the period lighting and the aesthetic and safety advantages it brings, we need the city's help. Louisville is showing itself as far-sighted as other southern cities such as Savannah and Charleston--cities with a wealth of nineteenth century architecture and the insight to preserve that historical and aesthetic heritage. A more beautiful and secure Old Louisville can only add to the city's attraction for tourists and for those who stay longer. As a small organization, we have worked hard to do our part, to install our version of period "guiding lights" which we hope will shine on a continual restoration and revivification throughout the area.

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