West St. Catherine Neighborhood Association

"Gateway to Old Louisville"

Jun 26, 2003

In the event you were unable to join us, here is the speech that will be delivered by Rhonda Williams on behalf of the WSCNA on Tuesday, April 29th, 2003:

I suppose you could call this a monumental day for West St. Catherine Street, for Limerick and Old Louisville, and for the city at large.

We stand here to celebrate a project over two years in the making, the spearhead and the model for Metro Louisville?’s Signage and Wayfinding Campaign. As we are all beginning to realize in the new merged city, the growth and character of our community is dependent largely upon neighborhood identity and integrity. That is what the Signage and Wayfinding Campaign is all about: identifying distinctive neighborhoods within the city and providing inventive and attractive ways to point to their presence.

Of course, we feel that our street and our neighborhood are among the city?’s truly distinctive areas. West St. Catherine, with its prominent exit off Interstate 65, has become a sort of ?“gateway?” to Old Louisville?—the principal route to one of the most compelling architectural and preservational districts in the eastern United States. We can hope that these striking new obelisks will help signal our presence to tourism and, in the long term, to new residents and businesses.

Philosophically, though, we are also considering a larger purpose.

Those of us who live in the Old Louisville and Limerick districts have made a commitment to the city core. We believe that the possibilities and potential of metro Louisville depend in a large part upon our attention to the heart of the city?—its older, traditionally urban neighborhoods. As the heart goes, so goes the rest of the city, we believe, and one of the early steps to a vibrant and vitalized Louisville is attending to the riches we already have, preserving our heritage not only as an architectural showpiece, but as a lively and productive urban district.

This project could not have been undertaken without the vision and the unqualified support of our Councilman, George Unseld. From the beginning, he has been a tireless advocate of what you see in place today. His office has been behind us?—financially, tactically, and even spiritually. His know-how and hard work on these matters have only been matched by his kindness and encouragement. And as this display lights up at night, signaling our city?’s renewed and renewing optimism, we should thank George deeply for providing the first, affirmative candle.

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