Friday July 12, 2024
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Walking around Downtown Louisville the last weekend in October will be particularly intriguing thanks to “The Crane on Main” and the Louisville Downtown Partnership’s (LDP) Alley Gallery Walking Tour. Main Street will be completely closed to automobile traffic from First to Second Street due to the “Crane on Main,” but Main Street sidewalks will be open for pedestrian foot traffic and all Whiskey Row bars and restaurants will be open for business. Beginning on Friday at 6:00 p.m., lane closures will start at South Preston Street, with cars being detoured at Brook Street. Main Street is expected to reopen by 5:00 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 30th.

A tower crane – which requires an assist crane — was installed in the Old Forester Distillery project on Main Street in 2016 and required the same closure. “We are happy to report that great progress continues to be made on this project, and it is time for the tower crane to be dismantled and removed from the site,” said Rebecca Matheny, LDP’s Executive Director.  The Old Forester Distillery project is slated to open in spring of 2018.

Old Forester is working with Whiskey Row bars and restaurants to design Old Forester cocktail creations with fun construction-themed names, like the “Road Block,” “The Hard Hat” or “Detour Ahead” for adults who venture Downtown to check out the assist crane on Main Street. “It truly is a surreal visual experience to see such a massive piece of equipment in the middle of Main Street,” Matheny added.

In addition to the “Crane on Main,” Duluth Trading Company will be holding their “soft grand opening” that weekend in advance of their official Grand Opening on Thursday, Nov. 2nd.

Alley Gallery Walking Tour

The work of local artists will also be featured in a 90-minute walking tour with Mayor Fischer and Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith from 2 – 3:30 pm. The pedestrian tour of Alley Gallery doors will begin at Fourth Street Live! and end in the lobby of the Aloft Hotel at the corner of First and Main Streets across from Whiskey Row. “Participants can appreciate great local art in hidden places on the Alley Gallery Walking Tour, and then stop by one of Whiskey Row’s fine restaurants and bars to enjoy “Louisville’s hometown bourbon,” check out the giant assist crane in the middle of Main Street, and stop in Duluth Trading Company to experience their soft grand opening,” Matheny added.

Launched in mid-May of this year, Alley Gallery – a public art program organized by LDP – turns back-of-the-building and alley service doors into an outdoor art gallery featuring the work of artists from Metro Louisville. The images are applied to the doors in vinyl and are marked by yellow location signs and black title cards listing the artists, titles of their works, and sponsors.

A total of 70 doors have been installed thus far, 35 of which will be featured on the tour. To date, 73 artists have submitted almost 500 images for consideration. For more information regarding the Alley Gallery program, please visit: and click on the “Living” tab on the home page.

The first phase of the Bourbon District – an initiative that pays homage to Downtown Louisville’s rich bourbon history and recognizes the city’s current bourbon industry boom – was unveiled today on Main Street in front of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.

Featuring Historic Site signs, Destination signs, banners and a pop-up “event scape,” the Bourbon District is a collaborative effort led by the Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP), Louisville Metro Government and the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, in cooperation with Downtown’s Bourbon industry community.

At one time, Main Street was a hub of activity for the bourbon industry due to its proximity to the river.

“Main Street is truly the home of Louisville’s bourbon industry, both historically and in its current resurgence,” said Rebecca Matheny, Executive Director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP).

“Today, ‘Bourbonism®’ is thriving in Downtown Louisville, with four distillery experiences already open and three more planned, as well as a number of additional bourbon attractions slated to open within the next few years,” said Mayor Greg Fischer, who unveiled the first historical marker on Main Street.

The Bourbon District will use the public right of way to create an engaging and educational aesthetic for pedestrians while supporting the ongoing development of the bourbon industry in Downtown Louisville.

The renaissance of bourbon has sparked tourism and development in Downtown Louisville.

“While Louisville’s bourbon story goes back to the late 1700’s, it’s only been in the last decade that bourbon tourism has become a defining point of our city’s authenticity. We are thrilled to be part of sharing this cultural heritage with locals and visitors and think it will enhance their appreciation of Louisville’s unique destination experience,” said Karen Williams, President and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

When complete, the Bourbon District will be concentrated along Main Street from Jackson Street to 10th Street, and along Fourth Street from Main Street to Broadway.

Solid Light, a local Louisville company nationally recognized for designing and building extraordinary visitor experiences, created the Bourbon District to be a walkable experience.

“When visitors come to the Bourbon District, they will have an authentic experience learning about Louisville’s bourbon heritage and experiencing its resurgence,” said Solid Light Owner/President Cynthia Torp. “Working with the Louisville Downtown Partnership to create the Bourbon District was especially meaningful for us because our roots are here, so we are dedicated to keeping the history of our community alive. With every piece of history we uncovered and historical marker we designed, our passion for the project and for sharing Louisville’s bourbon story grew.”

Phase I, unveiled today, is concentrated on Main Street between Fourth and Sixth streets and will highlight the four active bourbon attractions.  Plans for Phase II, which will be located on the southwest corner of Fourth and Main streets, include a grand sculptural element as part of a Story Hub, an informational and interactive center of the Bourbon District.  Phase III will include at least eight more Historic Site signs and Destination Signs for the upcoming bourbon experiences.

Phase IV will include further activations to make the corners of Fourth and Main Streets distinctive pedestrian areas.  “Bourbon is such a significant part of Downtown Louisville’s history, and the Bourbon District will help us tell that story to locals and visitors from all across the globe,” Matheny added.

LDP drives economic growth in Downtown and adjacent central-city neighborhoods for the benefit of the entire region, as well as oversees multiple on-street enhancements that help establish Downtown Louisville’s distinctive character and widespread appeal.  LDP believes the economic engine of any great city starts with a strong Downtown.

For more information, go to:  LDP can be contacted at 556 S. Fourth Street; Louisville, KY 40202; (502)584-6000.