Building For the Future


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Louisville, Kentucky is a city full of historic architecture and neighborhoods dating from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. The Oracle Single Family Homes Revitalization 2009 is  breathing life back into many of these homes that have fallen into disrepair. Some of the homes require extensive work while saving as much of the decorative architecture elements as possible.

With a little imagination you can see how these homes once were full of life and how proud the people who built them must have been.

What would they say today?

The thought that leads to NO action is not thought- it is DREAMING.

We have created a pictorial walk through the process of restoring these few homes. As the process continues there will be updated photos so make sure to check back often.

Please Click To See More Photos

The Oracle Single Family Homes Revitalization 2009


Slide Show 1 August 30,2010

Louisville, Kentucky is a city full of historic architecture and neighborhoods dating from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. The Oracle Single Family Homes Revitalization 2009 is breathing life back into many of these homes that have fallen in disrepair. Some of the homes require extensive work while saving as much of the decorative architecture elements as possible.

With a little imagination you can see how these homes once was full of life and how proud the people who built them must have been. What would they say today? The thought that leads to NO action is not thought- it is DREAMING.

We have created a pictorial walk through the process of restoring these few homes. As the process continues there will be updated photos so make sure to check back often.

Click To Read More

Lead Paint Dangers

Renovation of Houses In the Portland Neighborhood


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Sometimes selling or buying a house has a lot of “red tape” attached to it,
BUT what about
the red tape that is appearing on Portland Avenue?
Work has finally begun on a few houses in the Portland neighborhood that were purchased at the beginning of this year for total renovation. Oracle Design Group Inc. purchased the two properties at 24th Street and Portland Avenue.  This group has begun work to transform them into quality homes. The houses will be made available for rental units for the first fifteen years and at the end of that set amount of time, the properties will be available for purchase.
The work that Oracle Design Group Inc. is looking to accomplish will provide Portland with a safer environment. Oracle Design Group Inc. realizes that many of the older homes in the neighborhood have lead based paint issues.  This will not be the case for the properties they are looking to renovate as proper removal guidelines are being followed to remove the lead.  These attributes of Oracle’s renovation plan will encourage a higher design standard for any future construction in Portland.
The president of Oracle Design Group Inc. is Dr. Mark T. Wright who received his Doctorate in Urban and Public Affairs, Planning and Development from the University of Louisville. He is married to Caryn A. Winter and together they own and operate Oracle Design Group.  Among other honors, Dr. Wright received the President’s Award from the University of Louisville, as well as The Cornerstone 2020 Award for Excellence in Design in a Traditional Workplace. For his work establishing a mentoring program for at risk children in Louisville’s Middle Schools, he was awarded The Apple from the Teachers Award from the Jefferson County School Systems.  In 2001, he was presented The First Annual Architect’s Award for Excellence in Community Design.
Chris Byrd is also a valued member of the Oracle team. He holds a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Kentucky. Mr. Byrd is currently the Project Manager for Oracle Single Family Homes Revitalization 2009.  He is also certified in Lead Safe Work Practices, Lead Worker and Renovator.
The purchase of these few houses should be viewed as successful for our Portland neighbors. Many of the homes were owned by Portland residents that had been on the market for some time without a prospect of a buyer. The homes being renovated will provide quality housing for other Portland residents. Oracle has experience with a variety of housing programs and has developed affordable housing in Louisville and the surrounding areas.
Many in the real estate industry feel that for improvement to happen there must be a mixture of rental and homeowners in our area. We need to consider quality housing for our neighbors who may not qualify to become a homeowner.  There are many residents who may not be able to buy due to situations and circumstances outside their control that deserve quality housing.
The Oracle Design Group Inc. looks to provide this quality as they move forward in the renovations in the Portland neighborhood.

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

Louisville, Kentucky is a city full of historic architecture and neighborhoods dating from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. The Oracle Single Family Homes Revitalization 2009 is  breathing life back into many of these homes that has fallen into disrepair. Some of the homes require extensive work while saving as much of the decorative architecture elements as possible.

With a little imagination you can see how these homes once was full of life and how proud the people who built them must have been.

What would they say today?

The thought that leads to NO action is not thought- it is DREAMING.

We have created a pictorial walk through the process of restoring these few homes. As the process continues there will be updated photos so make sure to check back often.

Please Click To See More Photos

Steve P Holcombe, The Converted Gambler


I wanted to share this book with you as it paints a very good picture of what Shippingport, Portland and Louisville was like in the early years. It also has some interesting photos.

 

 

 It was published in 1888 and is available online.

Thanks to Dan for this information!

Click Here To Read The Book

Mary Millicent Garretson Miller


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The First Female Steamboat Captain

Mary Millicent Garretson Miller was born in 1846 to a steamboat engineer and his wife who lived in Portland.

She married Capt. George Miller. He worked as a carpenter at a Jeffersonville, Indiana shipyard. Learning the trade as she went, Mary helped him build their 179 foot side-wheeler, the Saline.

Miller became a river pioneer by being the first to take coal down down the Mississippi. In 1829 he took two coal flats from Bon Harbor below Owensboro, Ky to the La Branche Plantation just Red Church, about thirty miles north of New Orleans

A rival company accused George of operating as both captain and pilot, which was illegal. When Mary Miller applied for her captain’s license in 1883, the local U.S. Inspectors of Steam Vessels at the New Orleans office refused her request until they could clear it with the Secretary of the Treasury.

Mary took the exam and passed. The Secretary of the Treasury wired back “that Mrs. Miller be granted a license if fit to perform the duties required, in spite of sex.” He also added that such a license would socially degrade any woman to whom it was issued.

1891- George was ready to retire. Business had declined. They made their last trip to New Orleans. They took the Swan their sailboat and spent the winter on the jetties at the mouth of the Mississippi.

Mary became ill. The towboat W.W. O’Neil towed the Swan back to Portland. Mary returned to her home on Bank Street (George build her the house as a wedding present)

1894 Mary died and is buried in Portland Cemetery.
1993- She was inducted into the American Merchant Marine Hall of Fame at Kings Point, New York and recognized by the National Rivers Hall of Fame in Dubuque Iowa in 1995.

Louisville and Portland Canal


In 1830 the Louisville and Portland Canal opened for business. Until then the only way down the Ohio River was through the Falls of the Ohio. These were a series of rapids that had to navigated by experienced river men. During the course of the rapids the river dropped 26 feet and was a very dangerous trip.

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Many boat that carried goods had to unloaded at the 4th Street Wharf in downtown Louisville and taken to the Portland Wharf that was pass the Falls of the Ohio. This took time and as time changed a new way to navigate the river was needed.

The canal had to be dug through rock and cost more than first estimated. It was plagued with finical difficulties all the way through the project until Congress had to invest money for it to be finished. When finished the canal was only 50 feet wide.

Finical difficulties continued for many years after the canal was built and the government ended up owning the canal. In 1960 the Louisville and Portland Canal became the McAlpine Locks and Dam. Since there has been many improvements to the canal has been made. The canal is taken care of by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

To read more about the exciting things happening at McAlpine Locks and Dam today visit:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The changing views of the canal

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Shippingport, Kentucky


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Shippingport, Kentucky was given to John Campbell in 1785 for his service in the French and Indian War. At that time it became known as Campbell Town. It was sold in 1803 and renamed Shippingport.

The population grew from 98 to over 500 and at one time challenged the 4th Street Wharf in downtown Louisville. At that time a warehouse and mill was built on Shippingport and soon began to export their goods. Elm Tree Garden became a popular spot for horse-racing and was well known. In 1817 a six-story flour mill built because how successful Shippingport had become.

In 1825 the building of the Louisville and Portland Canal and made Shippingport into an island. It soon became known as Shippingport Island and is locally known by that name today.

Over the years the Louisville and Portland Canal was gradually widened to keep up with the steamboats and later barges that carried products from one end of the country to another. A hydroelectric plant was also built on the island as time changed. Slowly residents and businesses began to close and leave.

The area was devastated by the flood of 1937 when most of Louisville was under water. It forced the island to evacuate until the river returned to it’s banks. Many people never returned because their homes were completely destroyed.

In 1958 the government acquired the property by eminent domain to widen the canal. They evicted many families that had lived there for over a 100 years.

STREET NAMES OF SHIPPINGPORT
TARASON AVE.
CHERRY STREET
PLUM STREET
MC HARRY STREET
HEMP STREET
CANAL STREET
Shippingport Today
If you look closely you can see deer drinking from the Ohio River. When this picture was taken we saw about 15 deer.

Kentucky and Indiana Bridge (K&I Bridge)


Construction on the bridge began in August 1910 and was completed in November 1912.It cost over $2 million dollars. It was one of the heaviest and largest plain truss bridges on earth.

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(In this vintage postcard you can see the K&I Bridge)

It was primarily designed to carry railroad traffic and is is 70 feet wide

It has wagon ways on each side. These were paved with heavy creosoted wood blocks and were intended primarily to accommodate horse and wagon traffic…which used the bridge on a toll basis. Cars and trucks replayed horse drawn vehicles.

Today…

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The creosote paving blocks remained until 1952 they were replaced by steel grid work.

February 1979- a section of the roadbed broke under the weight of an overloaded gravel truck. Traffic has been closed since to any cars or trucks.

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