Tuesday morning, representatives from several of Louisville’s National Historic Landmarks and the Convention and Visitors Bureau announced a new program to encourage visitors and residents to explore the city’s past. It’s called, fittingly, National Historic Landmarks of Louisville.
“Per capita, we have eight landmarks, which is a really rich, dense amount of history and heritage in our city and something we should all be proud of,” said Melissa Hines during a news conference.
Hines is a representative from Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, which is housed in the Bank of Louisville, one of the featured landmarks. Built in 1837, it serves as a strong example of small-scale Greek Revival architecture.
The other landmarks include:
The Belle of Louisville — The oldest operating river steamboat in the country. Built in 1914, the Belle is the only U.S. river steamboat to reach the age of 100.
Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires — Constructed in 1895, the Twin Spires are a recognized landmark and symbol of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
Life-Saving Station #10 — This is the only inland life-saving station in the country. The original station was installed at Louisville in 1881 where crews would aid those injured at the Falls of the Ohio. The current station is the third version, built in 1929.
Locust Grove — Built in approximately 1792, this Georgian Mansion tells the story of Louisville founder George Rogers Clark, William and Lucy Croghan, their family, and over 40 enslaved individuals who lived and worked on this early Kentucky farm.
U.S. Marine Hospital — While no longer open to the public, the U.S. Marine Hospital opened in 1852 and is the last remaining of seven inland Federal hospitals that served river boatmen, Civil War casualties and community health.
Zachary Taylor’s Boyhood Home — Also known as Springfield, this 1790-house was the boyhood home of the 12th president of the United States. The home is now a private residence and is no longer open to the public.
As part of the National Historic Landmarks of Louisville program, visitors can now pick up a special pass that can be validated at each of the National Landmark Sites — other than, obviously, the U.S. Marine Hospital and Zachary Taylor’s Boyhood Home — when they visit.
They can then bring the pass to the Louisville Visitor Center to receive a gift. Visitors are also encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #landmarklovers.