A Window into America's Past
Vintage Post Card Greetings from Louisville

The Seelbach Hotel, Louisville, Roof Garden
The Seelbach, Louisville, Ky."
ca. 1910

Here we see an early view of a room that remains arguably one of the most unique and wonderful rooms in the region.  According to Louisville Today (1912 edition), the room was patterned after an actual German Rathskeller from a castle on the Rhine.  It debuted in 1907 as a banquet hall.  What makes the room so special is that it is one of only two large scale rooms in existence entirely fashioned from the famous Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati.  The original cost of the Rookwood tiles and fixtures for the room, which cover the walls, columns and ceilings, was $40,000. The Rathskeller also included a drinking fountain, the largest piece of pottery ever fired by the Rookwood company to that time.  So that the association would never be lost, all the column capitals are adorned with distinctive rook figures.

The Rathskeller can still be seen today in the basement of the Seelbach Hotel, though it is only used occasionally for functions.  The original Flemish style furniture shown in the picture above is, however, long gone.

Enlargement (214 sec @ 56kbps)

Vintage Postcard Views of Louisville

Old Louisville 
     Second Street  
     Third Avenue  
     Fourth Avenue  
     St James Court  
     Central Park  
     The Confederate Monument  
     The 1937 Flood  

Louisville (the rest of the city)
     Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby  
     The Old Court House  
     City Hall
     East to West along Broadway 
     The Seelbach Hotel  
     Railroad Stations   
     Without extended descriptions:
     Fourth Street   
     The Armory  
     The Old Post Office and Customs House    
     City Parks   


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