Louisville’s: A Great Place You’ve Never Heard Of

Louisville was named to the Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of list in Mother Earth News’ and we are excited. It goes on sale January 25.

While they’re seriously off on our population in the press release (256K? really?), it’s more great news for our beloved city. A terrific promotion of our sustainable building practices and the hope we all have to make this a great place.

An excerpt from the article:

The diverse Old Louisville neighborhood has one of the country’s largest collections of restored Victorian homes, and it also boasts an extensive system of pedestrian-only streets. Recent development projects show additional promise. Film producer Gill Holland, Louisville Magazine’s 2009 “Person of the Year,” has purchased tracts in the downtown area and is helping to reinvent the neighborhood as an arts district built on sustainable development. Holland’s neigh- borhood centerpiece is The Green Building, a 15,000-square-foot converted dry goods store that houses a café, gallery and office spaces, and is Louisville’s first LEED Platinum green building project.

Or, if you want to read the entire page from the upcoming issue that features Louisville, here you go:


Just more for us to love about this place.

Some Huge Architectural News For Louisville

Ready for Jake to nerd out again? Here goes.

This cover story from Architectural Record is huge. Seriously. With a headline like, “A pair of Harvard-educated architects find acceptance in Kentucky while drawing inspiration from the state’s tobacco barns and vernacular buildings,” it’s tough not to be excited on a nerd level I can’t even explain.

Here’s a taste:

There are some people who fashion their lives in response to happy accidents. Neither Roberto de Leon, Jr., AIA, nor M. Ross Primmer, AIA, is one of those people. Instead the co-principals of Louisville, Kentucky–based De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop carefully research and strategically plan everything, leaving nothing to chance. After obtaining their M.Arch. degrees from Harvard, de Leon and Primmer decided to move somewhere that they could make an impact. Reading economic reports of U.S. cities, they discovered that Louisville was one of the top three cities on the brink of an economic upswing. The two architects, who had done some fieldwork in Las Vegas (“It was poised for growth, with a university nearby — a city trying to establish and nurture a creative class,” says de Leon) and Charlotte, North Carolina (same as Vegas), hatched a strategy to set up an architecture firm that would specialize in cultural and nonprofit projects and do so in a city that was gritty but educated enough to appreciate new ideas. They chose Louisville and launched their firm in 2003. “It wasn’t random, but we had no ties here at all,” says Primmer. “Louisville was a mid-tier city that was changing from an industrial-based economy to a service-based economy. Our strengths are in consensus building, and we have an interest in corralling boards. So we decided to focus on nonprofit and cultural organizations. Louisville seemed like a place where we could have a voice.”

Really, go read the rest.

Nerd overload.

Museum Plaza’s In The Mainstream Again

You folks remember Joshua Prince-Ramus, right?

He’s the mind behind Museum Plaza. Love or hate the idea, you can’t deny that it’s impressive.

Check this bit from Forbes:

I’m working on two things right now. The big one is Museum Plaza. It’s a 62-story skyscraper with a floating contemporary art museum (on 24th and 25th floor) in downtown Louisville, Ky. It’s entirely about sustainability in our concept of it. Our clients, members of the family behind Brown-Forman ( BFA – news – people ), have two passions–contemporary art and a commitment to saving horse farms in the area surrounding Louisville while spurring development downtown.

They have a terrific collection and wanted to pay for a new museum in conjunction with Louisville’s Speed Art Museum but insisted it had to be downtown. The Speed said no. So they decided to do it themselves, and bought a brownfield site in the city. They said they’d invest $50 million for the art museum if they could make it back with a for-profit development, and they would use those proceeds toward funding an ongoing arts endowment.

Click here to read the entire piece.

OK, Read This First, then Start the Weekend

We’re on the patio at the Gardiner Lane Heine Bros. because, well, it was impossible to stay indoors any longer. Join us at the Dan Dry photo exhibit at the ArtXP Gallery in Butchertown tonight. Meanwhile, here’s some stuff to end the week on….

Posing for Vogue: Fashion photographers for magazines like Vogue are probably always shooting girls named Rachel, but it was a little bit different for photog Stephen Klein at Churchill Downs today. He did a photo shoot with 3-year-old Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Kentucky Oaks and Preakness. The shots will appear in the August issue. [Blood-horse]

Flagging Kindred: The local hospital company has experienced a minor P.R. explosion this week because one employee asked another to take down an American flag at a Texas office. The offended American called in to Francene’s show today, and everybody gave Kindred some grief. The local office sent confusing press releases, eventually reprimanding the rogue staffer. See a pic of her. [Francene]

Live Track Blog: Ever covered a track meet as a journalist? I have, and it’s not pretty. So I’m feeling for Jody Demling of the C-J, who’s doing a live blog from the NCAA Regional Track Meet at Cardinal Park.  [Demling]

Somebody Call Wayside: Jeffersontown’s largest hotel, currently known as the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, is up for foreclosure auction in August with a lender seeking at least $9 million. Biz First touts it as potentially “one of the largest Louisville-area foreclosures in recent memory.” That must have been written before the $10 million bid by Wayside Christian Mission for Hotel Louisville. [Biz First]

An Idea for Budget Cuts: Do we really need a homeland security office in Kentucky, one which sends out press releases letting us know that Thomas Preston, the state’s director, is attending the Army’s War College? [press release]

An Online Kentucky Experience: Lookie here. First Lady Jane Beshear has launched a website called the Kentucky Experience. It’s geared to visitors to the 2010 Equestrian Games. [Page One]

It’s a Sell-Out: Forget those plans to go to Patterson Stadium for that NCAA baseball game tonight between U of L and Indiana. They’re already sold out. Try again tomorrow.

A Listing Alternative?

It’s almost Friday night, so you should already have your weekend planned. If you were looking for something to do, you may have picked up a Velocity to get a complete list of happenings around town. As we reported a few weeks back, LEO decided to focus its efforts elsewhere, giving up on the Plugged In listings in the paper.

Today an upstart monthly magazine is touting itself as the answer to your listings dilemma. MetroLive magazine wants to be your source for everything-to-do in town, whether it’s dining, restaurants, charity events or concerts.  And this is kind of funny — the magazine’s VP of Marketing, Cyndy Tandy, calls it low editorial — there’s nothing in the publication but listings and ads.

MetroLive launched in January, and has an online component as well.  It’s a nice four-color magazine, but it has a long way to go to replace LEO’s listings. For starters, it’s a monthly (meaning it can’t be too up-to-date), and it’s in print (meaning it can’t be too up-to-date). And the website, which is obviously not the primary focus of the business, is nowhere near comprehensive with its lists.

MetroLive is distributed free in a lot of the same places as other freebie pubs like Velocity and LEO.

As for LEO, it doesn’t seem to be losing much by dropping the listings. Its new blog, Event Horizon, offers up a handful of posts every day on stuff members of the LEO staff find compelling. Today it has six — including the big one, the Louisville Brewfest (which isn’t listed on the MetroLive site). But Stephen George said that LEO was no longer interested in being a comprehensive source, that he’d leave that up to Gannett, which has the staff to do it.

Tandy says that MetroLive is a viable replacement for the LEO listings. “The active Louisvillian needs a single vehicle and calendar to turn to when deciding when and where to spend their time and money. Our local businesses, festivals, attractions and charities can promote themselves through us, thereby serving our readers a great menu of offerings,” Tandy says in a news release.

We like the idea, but living our life online, we don’t put much stock in stuff that’s printed.  Those of you who need something tangible to hold while seeing what’s going on, MetroLive is worth picking up.

It’s TV Tuesday!

Be sure and check out The ‘Ville Voice and Page One on TV this morning. The CW Louisville Live at 10. That’s channel 7 for you Insight customers.

Meanwhile, take a look at a new post over at Ville Voice Eats about a new rewards program at the Louisville Originals.  And you got to love the story of Billy Reed‘s trip down to Bowling Green to see the rejuvenated Hilltoppers. At Page One, Jake’s got the skinny on what’s going down in Frankfort, which includes a silly nude dancing bill being pushed by Julie Denton.

Yesterday, we asked you about what female media personalities you most admired, and gave you a list to choose from. Many of you went off the board, expressing your admiration for WAVE’s Janelle MacDonald and Lori Lyle,  WFPL’s Julie Kredens, Velocity’s Javacia Harris. There was even a mention of Fox41’s Julie Tam. And Mayoral spokesperson Kerri Richardson.

It started with a contest over at Today’s Woman magazine, and we encourage you to go there and vote for their official “Most Admired Woman” in media. And yes, we’re pulling for Francene.  So please keep voting there, and leaving comments here about your choice.

We’ll have the TV clip up soon after we’re on, but you can watch it live too.

Let’s Have Our Own Women’s Popularity Contest

Over at Today’s Woman, they have this Most Admired Woman competition in which the public votes for its favorites in a dozen categories.  The list of nominees includes some of the most high-profile, successful women in town, but we’re especially interested in the category of Media.

We love all the nominees and appreciate their work. And don’t want to upset any of them by choosing one.

Candyce Clifft – WDRB-41
Francene Cucinello – 84 WHAS Radio
Angie Fenton – Courier-Journal Features
Lynda Lambert – 102.3-FM
Rachael Platt – WHAS-11 TV
Charla Young – WAVE 3

So who is your choice? Or who’s not here who should be?

Page One & ‘Ville Voice on TeeVee

We’re on Thursday because tomorrow is the 4th of July. Who knew? Anyway, the show is a little more exciting than last week (because some folks were afraid to talk about anything, you know, exciting) and the UofL-Felner story finally hit the airwaves. So watch it. Cause you never know what kind of scandalous dirt we’ll dig up.

[flv:/video/cwjuly3.flv 320 240]

On the Louisville Brandwagon

What about the Bambi Bar? Let’s see, according to the city’ s own branding campaign, you can’t advance your career or afford a home in Boston, and Atlanta has too much traffic. Still, those cities were right up there with us on a list of Best Places to Live in New York’s Resident Magazine. 11 cities made the list, though the choice of Louisville is pretty odd.

What are we doing in there with Denver, Minneapolis and Palm Beach? Writer Cotton Delo must have had a fine experience at Le Relais, and he also mentions Avalon for upscale stops. To give you an idea of the mag’s audience, though, consider that a paragraph headed “Family” lists the tuition costs at Kentucky Country Day School and Louisville Collegiate.

Done In by E-mail: It’s going to be interesting to see if Skip Miller, who’s been the Regional Airport Authority’s executive director for four years, can survive the hotseat when his sexual harassment case comes before the authority’s board. WHAS-TV’s Mark Hebert got hold of the embarrassing e-mails sent by Miller to his executive assistant, who sued after being fired.

A quick glance at the e-mails, and the Mayor’s on-camera remarks, suggests that Miller won’t be in the job another week.

The content of the e-mails was apparently bad enough, but the fact that the Airport Authority settled a harassment claim in March for nearly $60,000 (without Mayor Jer or the Board’s knowledge) bodes ill for Miller. Authority board chair J.D. Nichols, so far, is on Miller’s side. The C-J’s Deborah Yetter did some solid investigating to uncover more facts.

Miller apparently is one of those people who send along jokes through e-mail, thinking he’s spreading humor to recipients instead of what he’s actually doing, wasting the recipient’s time. His assistant, Mary Calhoun, seems to have tolerated the missives up to a point, but then she was fired for “attendance and other performance-related issues.” And guess who saved the e-mails, with headings like “Facts from the Sex Fairy.”

Kentucky’s Best — In the current issue of Kentucky Monthly, awards for the state’s top people, places and eateries arekymonthly.jpg presented, and the biggest city in the state comes out a big winner. got the biggest prize, named Best Food & Spirit winner here, but also mentioned were Mitchell’s (for shame, a national chain) and the venerable Mike Linnig’s in the Seafood category. Sapporo got a second for Sushi. The magazine’s publisher must want you to buy it, since the new issue isn’t available online.

Does Louisville’s Salon Issue Cross the Line?

loumag.jpgThe October issue of Louisville Magazine just arrived. The cover? A model getting a spa treatment. Inside — 12 pages of ads and editorial on local salons and spas. The problem — figuring out where the ads end and the editorial starts.

This isn’t one of those rants about editorial integrity. The day for that passed long ago, especially in local publications. The fact is that it’s rare for newspaper and magazine publishers to come up with special publications that don’t have an advertiser focus.

From my vantage point, however, a cover focused on obviously advertiser-driven content like spas and salons is a step in the wrong direction. Sure, the magazine devotes plenty of covers to topics that motivate advertisers, but it’s different when the content is a true value to the readers – like the magazine’s guides to schools, lawyers or restaurants, for example. Of course, maybe it’s just that I don’t think the city really needs a guide to salons and spas, any more than it needs a guide to the best dentists or coffee shops.

There’s some good reading in the issue, too. Joe Atkinson’s story on the governor’s race gives a nice overview, a challenging assignment in a monthly given the rapid shifts that occur during the race. Cameron Lawrence’s piece on what happens to drunk drivers is well done. Either would have made a good cover.

One other complaint: Don’t rush to your computer to read the issue’s content. The magazine’s antiquated Web site still has the August (not September, but August) issue up.