10 Parks that Changed Louisville

The new PBS series “10 that Changed America” is a whirlwind tour of America’s architectural treasures: including great homes like Fallingwater and Monticello, masterpieces of landscape architecture like Central Park and the High Line, and triumphs of town planning like Philadelphia and Portland. Each episode in the series stops by 10 places that changed the nation. With the upcoming premier of 10 Parks that Changed America, we asked our landscape architects and planners at Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group to identify the 10 significant parks in Louisville that they felt helped, shaped or changed the City. Here they are (in no particular order):

Olmsted Parkways

Olmsted parkways

Olmsted’s influence cannot be ignored in Louisville. The parkway system he planned there, one of the more intact systems still in place, represents the forward social thinking he brought to the City.

Cherokee Park

cherokke park

One of Olmsted’s flagship parks, this park continues to provide a natural presence in the heart of Louisville’s eastside neighborhoods.

Iroquois Park


This Olmsted-designed park on the City’s south side provides a “scenic reservation of forested hillsides and breathtaking vistas.”

Shawnee Park


This Olmsted riverfront park still provides the open space and picnic grounds for residents in the northwestern portion of the City.

Waterfront Park


This downtown reclaimed waterfront park provides the setting for many of Louisville’s largest and most impressive events.

Portland Wharf Park


This historic open space preserves the ruins of the Portland community, an historic portage village south of the Falls of the Ohio.

Louisville Loop


Louisville’s planned 100+ mile trail system will link the community’s neighborhoods, parks, cultural facilities, natural areas, and other unique environments.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Jim Peterson Louisville Loop Photo

This eastside park represents a new model for development and operations of significant parks and open space.

Big Four Bridge


While not technically a park, the conversion of the Big Four Railroad bridge opens pedestrian and recreational connections between Louisville and southern Indiana, greatly expanding the potential experiences of the region.

Jefferson Memorial Forest


The nation’s largest municipal forest provides unique recreational opportunities usually only available in larger state or national parks.


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