Archive for the Louisville History Category

Ali Home For Sale

Posted in Development, Economics, Louisville History, Louisville News, Real Estate, Sports with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by othersideoflife


(Picture of Muhammad Ali’s boyhood home from the Courier-Journal.)

The Courier-Journal is reporting that Muhammad Ali’s boyhood home in West Louisville is now for sale:

Two “for sale” signs have popped up in the front yard of the small white house on Grand Avenue where boxing great Muhammad Ali — known in those days as Cassius Clay — grew in western Louisville.

The home, which was recognized as Ali’s boyhood home with a historical marker in May, is described by the plaque as the place “where young Clay’s values were instilled.”

The sale price of the house was not listed on the for sale signs and a message left at the number listed was not returned. The Jefferson County Property Valuation Administration values the property at $23,260.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Sunday that it is too early to know what role the city might have as the house is sold, but he plans to be involved in the process in some way. He even hinted at the possibility that the home could be transformed into more of a tourist attraction.

“I would hope that we would find some reasonable way to make (the house) a part of our history here where people can visit more formally than they do right now,” he said. “The city would be interested in making sure that it falls into the right hands and there’s a partnership there in some way.”

Sounds like a bargain, that despite the home’s historical significance, it needs some work. Here’s hoping that, if it ends up being bought by a private party, the proper renovations will be carried out and, at some point, it could help drive tourism to an otherwise-overlooked part of the city.

UPDATE, 8/28/2012: The Courier-Journal has published an updated story on the Ali Home, with some interesting new details. First, apparently Ali’s family isn’t interested in buying the home:

The 1920 one-story at 3302 Grand Ave. in western Louisville, appraised at $23,260, is in such bad condition that “we probably would not be interested in buying it,” said Lonnie Ali, the wife of the three-time heavyweight boxing champion.

“It would be nice if someone were interested,” she said in an interview Tuesday, adding that she feared that any hint of the family being a potential buyer would drive up the price. “It is going to be a very important piece of real estate for Louisville and as a tourist attraction.”

According to the Ali Center, an anonymous donor is interested, but with no more information to divulge.  Additionally, check out the last sale price of the house, from 1998:

The house, which was last sold in 1998 for $2,500, is owned by a Southern Indiana couple, Steve and Kassandra Stephenson, according the Jefferson County PVA website. Their asking price couldn’t be determined.

Frank Evans, R.I.P.

Posted in Baseball, Kentucky History, Louisville History, Louisville News, Obituary, Sports with tags , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by othersideoflife


(undated picture of Frank Evans from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.)

The Courier-Journal is reporting that Frank Evans, former Louisville Redbirds coach and Negro League phenom, has died:

Frank Evans, a former coach for the Louisville Redbirds and a former Negro League Player, died Aug. 3 in Auburn, Ala. He was 90 years old.

Evans worked under manager Jim Fregosi in 1984 and 1985 when Louisville won consecutive American Association championships.

Evans’ playing career spanned from 1937 through 1965 as an outfielder, first baseman, and catcher. He played for the Memphis Red Sox, Kansas City Monarchs, Detroit Stars, Cleveland Buckeyes, Birmingham Black Barons, and Philadelphia Stars.

Some choice quotes from Evans about his career in baseball are at his player profile page at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum site:

“We took a lot of abuse, stuff that people wouldn’t know about these days, but we were one family. We were the nice guys who finished last except on the field.”

Evans said that the big losers in those days were the white baseball fans. “They didn’t know what they were missing. They talk about all the great hitters – Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. They don’t ever talk about Josh Gibson, the greatest home run hitter of all time. Josh could hit a home run with one hand. I was there. I saw him do it. They talk about the great base runners, but they don’t talk about “Cool Papa” Bell, the greatest of them all. They talk about the great pitchers, but most of them never saw Satchel Paige . I admired him because he threw strikes. He was always around the plate. He had absolute control, and he did it for more than 50 years.”

Evans was a journeyman who played catcher, first base, outfield, and, occasionally, pitcher. However he was well-known around baseball for being one of the best hitting instructors of his day.

Dalai Lama to Visit Louisville Next May

Posted in Happenings, Kentucky History, Louisville History, Louisville News with tags , , , on August 1, 2012 by othersideoflife


(photo of the Dalai Lama from Louisville.com)

Louisville.com is reporting that the Dalai Lama has scheduled a visit to Louisville next year:

The Dalai Lama recently confirmed plans to travel to Louisville next year, on a mission designed to spread blessings and compassion. He is making the trip here to bless a Tibetan Buddhist temple and teaching center, and to also reach out to the general public. He is scheduled to visit Louisville May 19-21, 2013.

The Dalai Lama is a frequent guest of Bloomington, Indiana, where his brother founded a Buddhist center. He, however, is not a frequent guest to Louisville, or even to Kentucky. The last time he was in Kentucky was in 1996 for recognition after he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. The last time he was in Louisville was two years prior to that; the purpose of his 1994 trip was to visit the Cathedral of the Assumption.

In May, the Dalai Lama will be visiting the Drepung Gomang Institute (DGI) and the Tashi Gomang Dharma Center, located on Hubbards Lane.

Pretty exciting news, presuming the Mayans are wrong and the world doesn’t end. Though we can’t help but wonder what Southern Baptist Seminary President and local blowhard Al Mohler has to say about it? Probably nothing as wise or coherent as:

…So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? “Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-galunga.” So we finish the 18th and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

Kaelin’s Restaurant, the Birthplace of the Cheeseburger, Closes… for Remodeling?

Posted in Economics, Food, Louisville History, Louisville News, Obituary on March 1, 2009 by stateofthecommonwealth

(Kaelin’s, and their famous “Please WAVE” sign, from lie_inourgraves’ photostream on Flickr.)

According to a thread on the Louisville HotBytes forum, Kaelin’s Restaurant — allegedly the birth place of the cheeseburger, opened in 1934 — closed for good last night. We haven’t seen confirmation from any local media just yet, and their web site is still active, but the HotBytes forum is usually a good authority on such matters.

Needless to say, the closing of a great Louisville institution is something we’re not thrilled about. When we find out more details online, we’ll update this post.

UPDATE, 10:45 PM: It appears we may have been misinformed as to the permanence of Kaelin’s closing. Michelle at Consuming Louisville informs us that Kaelin’s is closing for renovations. We can only assume for now that means an updated Kaelin’s.