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Central Park, Louisville

(25+ reviews on the web)
Historic Walking Area Nature / Park
Central Park is a 17acre municipal park maintained by the city of Louisville, Kentucky. Located in the Old Louisville neighborhood, it was first developed for public use in the 1870s and referred to as "DuPont Square" since it was at that time part of the Du Pont family estate.During the Southern Exposition in 1883, 13 of the park's 17acre were temporarily "roofed in" and used to showcase Thomas Edison's light bulb, one of the first large-scale public displays of the light bulb in the world. In 1885 the park was unroofed, and was instead used as an outdoor exposition, with an Edison designed electric trolley line transporting visitors around the park to see such sites as a roller coaster, bicycle trails, and an art museum surrounded by a lake.By 1904 the entire Du Pont family had moved to Wilmington, Delaware, so they sold the park to the city of Louisville for $297,500. The city enlisted famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the man who designed New York City's Central Park and had already designed an entire park and parkway system for the city of Louisville, to plot the new park. Olmsted had a large open air shelter with a colonnade built on top of the hill where the art museum had once stood, along with a wading pool and athletic fields on the side. The original walking trails were kept in place.In the 1970s the open air shelter was enclosed and used to house a police station and a neighborhood information center. In 1976 an amphitheater and wooden playhouse were built. The new playhouse was used to host the free annual summer performances of William Shakespeare's works, which had been held in the park since 1960. Since 1988 the annual event has been called the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and is still free to the public.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Central Parh is in the area of so many old wonderful homes. The park was laid out by the same group that did Central Park in NYC. The walkway today (paved) are the exact same as the orginal dirt paths...  more »
  • This park in the cnter of the Old Louisville Historic Area was designed by the same architect that designed Central Park in New York City. Very weel done,with numerous walkways and lenty of grassy are...  more »
  • This park was across the street from our B & B Central Park Bed & Breakfast. It's open and a nice jaunt in open space. If you need a brisk walk or run this is the place.  more »
Google
  • A wonderful space for family. Will reach perfection once restroom renovations are completed. Home of Shakespeare in Central Park - the longest running free Shakespeare company in the United States.
  • Beautiful park. Plenty of shade with all the trees. It has a fully equipped playground and a giant sparkler for the kids. Tennis courts, jogging path and an amphitheater for adults. In the summer it host Shakespeare in the park and many other events. In the fall it's home to the st. James art fest.
  • Beautiful Old Louisville/Downtown park, but feels like a suburban/state park. Large for where it is. Kept extremely clean and well manicured. Playground equipment is clean and kept up. A larger police substation is right on the grounds, and it's usually busy. So there are always cops around which (I believe) keeps the riffraff away. Could explain why the park is in such good shape, too. Someone who worked with the park was extremely helpful in getting me where I needed to go from there, as well as taking my daughter to the closest bathroom when it was an emergency. My 5 y.o. nephew had run across the park and she had to go right away so he led her there. VERY nice older man. Everytime we go there, we love it more and more. It's a must see in Downtown Louisville!
  • Pretty park, could use less people. Has a police station, fun park events, and good amenities. Occasionally you get the male creepers though.
  • I went to watch Much Ado About nothing at the shakespeare in the park festival. It was great, the only issue is that the amphitheater seat rows aren't sloped very much, so sitting behind a tall person can be an issue