The current location of RiverPark Place – historically known as “The Point” – has long been a prosperous area and home to many upper income socialites and successful entrepreneurs. Starting in the 1840s, well-heeled residents of New Orleans moved to Louisville for the summer to escape the Louisiana heat. These movers and shakers gathered at The Point on the Ohio River and built mansions, relaxing on their verandas and balconies to enjoy the cool river breezes. So many New Orleans residents built summer homes in Louisville that The Point’s Fulton Street became known as “Frenchmen’s Row” because of all the French-speaking residents that lived there.
Today, RiverPark Place carries on that distinction of elegance, relaxation and luxury. Nestled amid trees and greenery along the peaceful water, the new EdgeWater luxury condominiums harken back to an earlier time of summer mansions, boating, sumptuous meals and prominent friendships – a time when residents kept an exclusive and lively social calendar.
In the past, beautiful ladies in silk dresses strolled beside the river, fanning themselves with delicate lace fans. They carried parasols under the sun and watched river boats paddle through the crisp water. The Point was always a place to see and be seen, a chance to catch the eye of an influential new acquaintance. As ladies took in the sights and sounds of a stylish river life, well-bred gentlemen and entrepreneurs enjoyed cigars and afternoons on grand boats. Residing in homes at this fashionable and cultured location was the reward for financial success and business savvy. Today, the address represents similar accomplishments.
One of the lovely old mansions, Padget House, still stands at 1562 Fulton Street and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The restoration of Padget House is part of the RiverPark Place master plan — the elegant home will serve as part of a new restaurant that will have upscale pub food, light dinner and custom cocktails, the name of which will soon be announced.
In a vintage article in the Courier Journal under Women’s News, the author states that the Padget House “has always been known as ‘Mansion House,’ one of Louisville’s finest architectural landmarks.” The Padget House is the last remaining element of this once-gracious residential neighborhood, and its architecture shows a New Orleans influence that is not found anywhere else in Louisville.
Paget House and, therefore, RiverPark Place have a long and distinguished history. Margaret Wright Paget, who purchased the original elegant house in 1838, is the great-great niece of Gen. George Washington, America’s first president. Washington himself is a descendant of King Henry II of England. The original structure dates back to the 1780s, and a five bay Georgian Style masonry addition was built in 1838 that included a unique ornamental cast iron balcony that spanned the front of the building. The romance and lineage of Padget House lends depth and meaning to the beautiful grounds and affluent amenities of RiverPark Place and the EdgeWater condominiums.
In the 1840s, the mansion that stood next door was the Heigold House, completed in 1853. Its ornate, detailed façade with the faces of early American leaders engraved on it was the handiwork of immigrant stonemason Christopher Heigold. Also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Heigold House façade now stands at a welcoming intersection on Frankfort Avenue.
Residences at The Point – both past and present – share in the sophistication and lively energy of affluent business leaders and wealthy women who long ago brought the charm and excitement of New Orleans to this gracious neighborhood. Today, the glamor and excitement of The Big Easy can still be felt in the lush lawns, extraordinary buildings, and upscale life at RiverPark Place.
Please join Insider Louisville and RiverPark Place on July 29, 2015 for a fun, social meetuparound the new resort amenity area at RiverPark Place.
Insiders will gather around poolside starting at 4:30 p.m. Light appetizers will be served and a cash bar with beer and wine will be available. Representatives from Poe Properties will be on hand to showcase the EdgeWater condo tower plans.
After you have enjoyed this poolside meetup you can take the path to Waterfront Park for Waterfront Wednesday and truly get a taste for river life.
This meetup is not one to miss.