Network Center for Community Change
West Louisville Neighborhood Data Summaries
The Network believes that data, in the hands of neighborhood residents and advocates, is a powerful tool for change. These data summaries are the most comprehensive reports currently available about education, employment, housing, income, and family demographics in West Louisville neighborhoods. Louisville Metro defines the neighborhood boundaries we use here, and this use is consistent with other organizations across the city.
The Algonquin neighborhood is west of Old Louisville and University, south of Park Hill, north of South Louisville and Taylor Berry and east of Park DuValle and Hallmark. Its physical boundaries are generally the CSX railroad to the east, Hill Street to the north, Bernheim Street and Algonquin Parkway to the south and Cypress Street to the west. The neighborhood was established in the 1920’s as primarily residential. It was named after the nearby Algonquin Park and the Algonquin Parkway, which runs through the neighborhood. Algonquin may be described as a crossroads for various social and cultural forces: west Louisville, south Louisville, heavy industry use, and the University of Louisville expansion all converge in the neighborhood.
The California neighborhood is located in West Louisville, in an area south of Broadway and west of 9th St. The neighborhood boundaries are Broadway on the north, to 9th Street on the east, Oak Street to the south and 26th Street to the west. California was settled in the late 1840’s by German immigrants, with African Americans moving into the area after the Civil War. There are over 20 churches in the neighborhood, 1 elementary school and 2 major parks. Surrounding neighborhoods are Parkland, Russell, Park Hill and Limerick.
Chickasaw is a mostly residential West Louisville neighborhood. It was named after Chickasaw Park which opened in 1922. It is south of Shawnee, west of Parkland, and north of Cane Run. Its boundaries are Broadway to the north, 34th St to the east, Woodland Ave to the south and the Ohio River to the west. The opening of Shawnee Park in 1892, the White City Amusement Park in 1907 and the Ford Motor Company Assembling Plant in 1922 all sparked housing development in the area. Basil Doerhoefer was a developer whose mansion is found on W Broadway. The first permanent site for the state fairgrounds was on Cecil Ave. Chickasaw Park was the former estate of the political boss and corrupt chief of police John Whallen. When opened, the park served the African American population during segregation.
The Park DuValle neighborhood is south of Chickasaw and Parkland, west of Park Hill and Algonquin, north of Hallmark and east of Cave Run. Its boundaries are the Norfolk Southern Railway to the north, Cypress St to the east, Bells Lane and Algonquin Pkwy to the south and I-264 to the west. The neighborhood is named after the former DuValle Junior High School, which was named after Lucie DuValle, the first female principal of a high school in Louisville. The school
is now the site of the DuValle Education Center. The area was once part of greater Parkland and the African American community known as Little Africa. That community was disbanded after a series of urban renewal projects including the construction of the Cotter and Lang Homes housing projects in 1953. Those same projects were replaced by a HOPE VI housing revitalization project in 2001.
The Park Hill neighborhood is west of Old Louisville, south of California, north of Algonquin and east of Parkland and Park DuValle. Its physical boundaries are generally the CSX railroad to the east, Oak Street to the north, Hilll Street to the south and 26th Street to the west. The neighborhood is currently and has been historically heavily industrial and commercial due to the access of converging national railroads. Park Hill houses Simmons College, a historically black college founded in 1879. The college moved back to the neighborhood in 2005. Around the turn of the 20th century, the southwest corner of Park Hill was referred to the Cabbage Patch, which inspired the famous book by Alice Hegan Rice, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch; later made into a Hollywood movie.
The Parkland neighborhood is west of California, south of Russell, north of Park DuValle and east of Chickasaw. Its physical boundaries are 26th St to the east, Broadway to the north, Louis Coleman Jr. Dr to the west and Wilson Ave and Woodland Ave to the south. The neighborhood is one of the city’s oldest. Incorporated in 1874, it was originally a suburb called Homestead, renamed Parkland in 1884, and then annexed by the city of Louisville in 1894. An F4 tornado leveled the area in 1890. When rebuilt, many large Victorian homes were built in ‘White Parkland’ along Virginia, Cypress and Hale; ‘Black Parkland’ or also called ‘Little Africa’ reached from Woodlawn and Hale Ave as far west as the river. Much of Little Africa was demolished by urban renewal starting in 1946 – one example was Cotter Homes (in Park Duvalle) in 1953. A thriving business district on Dumesnil St and Virginia Ave between 26th and 28th included theaters, bakeries, hardware stores, a bank, a record store, and a Gulf station. It was said to be one of the busiest spots in Louisville. On May 28th, 1968, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, a rally erupted into rioting. Two teenagers were shot by police. The National Guard occupied Parkland for 7 days. Many businesses were looted. Many owners chose not to return. Today, Parkland boasts an historic district with beautiful homes, a community garden, and a few businesses that have reoccupied the once bustling neighborhood.
The Portland neighborhood is west of downtown Louisville and is the northernmost neighborhood of the city. Generally Portland is bordered by 10th Street to the east, the Ohio River to the north, Market Street to the south and Interstate 264 to the west. Portland was settled in the early nineteenth century where river traffic was forced to unload on the Falls of the Ohio. Growth of the (then) town paralleled the rise of Shippingport and downtown Louisville. Portland was annexed in 1837 by Louisville, later claimed independence in 1842, but then was made permanently a part of Louisville in 1852. The neighborhood has survived multiple floods, the largest being in 1937 and 1945. A flood wall, completed 1957, displaced 140 houses and a bustling commercial district. While historic homes, corner stores, taverns and warehouses still stand in Portland, urban renewal and urban flight have resulted in significant disinvestment.
The Russell neighborhood is located in West Louisville, north of Broadway and west of downtown. The neighborhood boundaries are W. Market to the north, Roy Wilkins Ave to the east, Broadway to the south and 32nd Street to the west. Surrounding neighborhoods are Portland, Downtown, California, and Shawnee. There are nearly 40 churches in the neighborhood, 4 public schools and 4 metro parks. In the past, wealthy, working class and poor residents have lived in the neighborhood and prominent public figures built homes on Chestnut St. post Civil War. From the turn of the century to the 1960s, Russell was a well established and popular African American neighborhood, once known as ‘Louisville’s Harlem’. The neighborhood included America’s first library open to African Americans, ‘The Louisville Defender’ publication, and Central High School (once Louisville’s African American High School).
Shawnee is a large, densely residential neighborhood in West Louisville. Its boundaries are the Ohio River on the West, Bank Street on the North, I-264 on the East, and West Broadway on the South. It is west of Portland and Russell and north of Chickasaw. The area was mostly farmland until the Fredrick Law Olmsted designed Shawnee Park was built in 1892. Its opening sparked the building of residential districts nearby. Large beautiful homes were built on Southwestern and Northwestern Parkways adjacent to the park by wealthy white residents. Middle and working class families lived further from the park. The Fontaine Ferry amusement park made the area very popular. After World War II, white residents began outmigration into the suburbs and the Shawnee neighborhood became predominately black.
Though the park system was legally desegregated in 1954, Shawnee Park and Fontaine Ferry were not fully integrated until 1963. Fontaine Ferry was the site of a race riot in 1969 and closed soon after. While the re-segregated Shawnee has since suffered from lack of business and entrepreneur investment in terms of job loss and housing stability, the neighborhood has rich social capital. Shawnee has engaged and involved citizens, an active neighborhood association and strong community leadership.