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Central Park, Louisville

3.6
#8 of 8 in Parks in Louisville
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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Central Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.0
36 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Well designed city park with Louisville Metro Police Department substation on the grounds, so very safe place. Good for dog walking, small family gatherings.  more »
  • Must see stop. We walk dogs there frequently. It's location is very handy and it has nice scheduled events. I see people playing tennis there a lot. Nice and shady with a fountain. So great for summer...  more »
  • This park in the Old Louisville area includes the Visitor Center for Old Louisville, walking trails, numerous trees, tennis courts, a water feature for children in season (off during my visit Oct. 18,...  more »
Google
  • Such a lovely-sized park. I like that it has nice paths to walk along and nice play ground area. Although, I have found misc items in the playground that I would not like my son to find. I do still enjoy taking him for the walks in that area and the local events. But it could be a little cleaner
  • I love this park. My father always took me to this park when I was a little girl. Til this day I still come to this park. The scenery is nice, very peaceful. A great place to go to with family & friends even by yourself when you have a lot on your mind.
  • Very beautiful and close to where I stay also helps me clear my mind because I can take a short cut between the mini walk way through those beautiful homes
  • Really nice place during festival times (or Shakespeare in the Park). Would not go at night ( or probably during the day) otherwise. Area is somewhat sketchy, despite having a police station on site. Pretty park, but area is known to druggies and prostitutes.
  • Right in the heart of Old Louisville. This park has a Visitor Center, picnicking, tennis, Police station, walking paths and last but not least Shakespeare In The Park during summer months. Very inviting & convenient.

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Where to stay in Louisville

Old Town has a number of atmospheric hotels close to the city’s main attractions, while hotels in the Highlands neighborhood offer proximity to the city’s most unusual bars, restaurants, and stores. Louisville’s collection of bed and breakfasts, generally farther from town, are a great way to experience some warm Kentucky hospitality. To save some money and enjoy the city’s scenic surroundings on a vacation in Louisville, consider one of Louisville’s campgrounds. The Jefferson Memorial Forest is just 24 km (15 mi) south of downtown.
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