The Old Louisville

Special points of interest:

News and Features

Points of view

Neighborhood Notes


Volume 22, Issue 10

PIC Meeting

Chair Notes

Letters to the Editor

5th District update

St. James Art  Show

Community Events

Community Soapbox

Cabbage Patch

Cultural Center



On Wednesday, October 18th at 7:30 P.M., there will be a forum at the Information Center to discuss City-County Merger. Bill Stone, former chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party, and David Banks, former Alderman and present attormey to the Board of Alderman, will present the opposing views.

October Calendar


The Old Louisville Journal is published monthly by the Old Louisville Information Center Inc. (OLIC), a 501(c)(3) corporation, incorporated in 1984, for the purpose of receiving tax deductible contributions. OLIC is affiliated with the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council (OLNC), a non-profit association incorporated in 1976 to serve as the recognized voice of the Old Louisville Neighborhood. Submit Journal contributions to Andrew Laing, Editor, The Old Louisville Journal, 1340 S. Fourth St. Louisville, KY 40208

Phone: 635-5244




Letters to the Editor

  The following do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor, or the editorial stance of the paper. We will print letters of general interest to old Louisville as space allows. Letters should be as concise and to the point as possible. We reserve the right to edit if space limitations force us to do so. No letters will be published anonymously, or under an assumed name.


Ninth Street


Will it Help or Hurt?

I attended the PIC meeting regarding the completion of the Ninth Street Extension.  In listening to the presentation and the concerns of the residents, I feel there is a need for the project, but not so that it intersects with the Old Louisville Neighborhood.

The Ninth Street Extension will assist traffic flow from downtown Louisville to South Seventh Street. It will even help develop the old CSX and LG&E properties on Seventh Street.

However, I feel that having interchanges at Oak and Myrtle Streets will only hurt the historic district.  The interchanges will add traffic within the neighborhood, and commuters will use the neighborhood as a short-cut from the west end to get to I-65.  And most of you know that we currently have a commercial truck problem within the neighborhood.  Just think of the additional trucks traversing Oak Street, especially if it is changed to a two-way street.

I was sitting at the 3rd Ave. Café last Sunday evening, thinking that the streets should be clear of commercial traffic on weekends. But several semi-trucks passed while I was trying to enjoy dinner.  Why are these trucks traversing our historic district on weekends when all businesses are closed?  This is just one example of what might occur if the Ninth Street Extension intersects with Old Louisville. Do you want the added noise and pollution that accompanies commercial traffic and commuters?

If you object, as I do, to these interchanges, please contact Bill Herron’s office as well as the State Transportation Department.  Our neighborhood has come far over the past few years, and we need to continue to protect it.

Daniel Koch, 40208

Editor’s Note:
The plan at present is to make Oak Street two-way with parking permitted on each side to discourage trucker’s shortcuts across the neighborhood.  Mr. Herron’s office has been asked to study any other measures that might facilitate this.  It appears at the moment that the OLNC’s support may be contingent on these measures being taken. 


Making A Difference

By Deborah Stewart

Some say good neighbors are hard to come by, but those of us who live in Old Louisville know better.  Good neighbors and the sense of community they engender are one of Old Louisville’s strongest attributes.  We look out for one another around here.

Take Jo Ann and Arnold Celentano.  Nearly seven years ago, they moved into a house in the 1000 block of South Third St. What they found was not pretty.

“Arnold witnessed a drug deal outside our kitchen window,” Jo Ann recalled.  “We had a back yard full of huge trees that were old and rotten on the inside.  There was a parking lot almost to our back door and everywhere there was garbage.  Whatever certain people didn’t want, they threw it out in the alley.  Syringes, liquor bottles, cigarette butts, garbage, garbage, everywhere.”

Seven years later, all of that has changed.  The garbage-infested alley is clean and was recently named in honor of Howard Poole, who has owned and operated Dizzy Whiz restaurant on the south end of the alley for the past 53 years.

The Celentano’s back yard that once provided the setting for drug deals and loitering is now a reservoir of natural beauty. Arnold and Jo Ann had the rotten trees removed and planted a flower garden.

“We let the sunshine in and the bad people just left,” Jo Ann said. “You can’t improve the quality of life when you live in garbage.  Arnold started picking up garbage and it was contagious.  Others started doing the same thing.  Then the Second Street Liquor Store closed and that was a big help.  Plus, we have great neighbors.  Baptist Towers, they are just fantastic neighbors.  They keep an eye on the alley and call if anything suspicious is going on.”

While things were improving in the alley out back of their home, a different situation was festering out front and across the street.  A former boarding house was converted to housing for men who were on medication and suffered from various physical and emotional problems.  There was no one qualified to supervise the distribution of medication and when things got out of hand, the sheriff would show up and some of these men would be taken to Central State, according to Jo Ann.

“It was so sad,” she said.  “These men would come out carrying a Kroger bag which held everything they owned and the Sheriff would haul them off.”

Jo Ann thought there had to be a better way to treat these men.  They were housed in 8’x8’ rooms.  Without proper medication, some of the men became irrational and violent.  So, she wrote the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services and requested an investigation.  The day she mailed her letter requesting the investigation, a body was found in the basement.

“That was somebody’s son,” she said.  “He was found dead of three gun shot wounds to the chest and it was the smell that led them to the body.  He had been dead for two weeks.”

Three weeks later, another man died on the premises.  He died of natural causes, but drugs were not ruled out.  “I wrote another letter after that,” Jo Ann said, “and by that time the State Health Department had gone into the property and found in the words of their report, “roaches, feces, and mounds of debris…evidence of neglect under guardianship.”

The owner was given until August 31 to clear the building of all occupants.  No one knows quite what the next step will be, but one thing is for sure, the Celentanos are the ones we should tank for their perseverance and courage.  Good neighbors can and do make a difference.



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