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In the early part of the 20th century Louisville seemed to be well on its way to having the position that such southern cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Charlotte hold today. Not only in population but also in economic importance and general influence for the rest of the southeast region. For reason that I am still trying to figure out (if anybody know please explain) Louisville hit a slump after the 1960’s.

I guess my question here is for one what is it that turned these cities from the smaller towns they were at the dawn of the 20th century to the powerhouses they are today. (I am referring mostly to the landlocked cities; it’s obvious why cities such as Houston and Miami grew so much)

My second question, as well as the reason for me starting this thread is what does Louisville need to get back in the game. While in the past 15 or so years Louisville has made some very significant progress, I feel it hasn’t yet reached its full potential. It’s also not seeing the growth that cities such as Raleigh and Charlotte have seen. I am in no way saying that I am dissatisfied with my city, as a matter of fact I am very excited to see the way things are changing for Louisville, especially recently. Within the past year alone more than 7000 new jobs have been announced. However I feel that Louisville could do better. I just feel that there is some element out there that Louisville needs to return to what it experienced decades ago. Any thoughts about this?
 

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The biggest reason that cities like Charlotte have flourished in the last 15 or so years is that many have been proactive in establishing an national image. Charlotte has strived to secure its name as the banking capital of the nation (And save for New York, it pretty much is). Louisville could benefit greatly from the same sort of thing, finding what it does best and then both encouraging it and advertising it, maybe on televised ads, nationally-circulated magazine ads or tourism slogans and information packets. I'm not really familiar enough with Louisville to make an educated suggestion as to what it should try to push forward, but I've heard it's a great combination of southern and northern culture there, so maybe that's what should be emphasized.
Think of cities like a business. In order to be successful, oftentimes they must be publicized.
 

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Raleigh is actually a baby when compared to the previous mentioned cities. However, it is flattering to see that some forumers think that Raleigh up and coming.

Besides being the Capitol of North Carolina, Raleigh has no identity and its currently trying to find out what it wants to be. Just as the Charlottean said, the city of L-ville needs to build on its reputation of what made the city gain the status it once had. For Raleigh, I believe that it wants to have a mixture of a lot of business entities in addition to what it has. For and foremost, its the capitol and 2nd largest city in the state behind Charlotte, It's known for its colleges/universities and as of right now, a downtown building boom.................but the main thing Raleigh boast(along with Durham), is the world reknown Research Triangle Park.
 

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card04 said:
In the early part of the 20th century Louisville seemed to be well on its way to having the position that such southern cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Charlotte hold today.
Not really. Louisville hasn't really been a boomtown for over 100 years. By the early 1900's, cities such as Indianapolis and Memphis were already outpacing Louisville in growth. Louisville was just so large (for the time period) that it took a few decades for these other cities to catch up.

So in that respect, the 'decline' of Louisville actually began many years before the visible signs became evident.

card04 said:
I guess my question here is for one what is it that turned these cities from the smaller towns they were at the dawn of the 20th century to the powerhouses they are today. (I am referring mostly to the landlocked cities; it’s obvious why cities such as Houston and Miami grew so much)
The automobile, and just as importantly, the creation of an efficient road system allowed these cities to grow. Also, these newer cities had less polution, cheaper land, less crime, better taxes, and a bright future when compared to their dying industrial counterparts in the Midwest and Northeast.

card04 said:
My second question, as well as the reason for me starting this thread is what does Louisville need to get back in the game.
As far as Louisville's slower growth.....

Kentucky has a notorious reputation for being one of the worst states when it comes to taxing businesses. This is common in states where there is an abundance of poverty and unfortunately there is no Gatlinburg/Smokey Mountains or Tunica to help offset those expenses.

This puts Louisville at a disadvantage because many states simply have more money to throw out as incentives to lure businesses.

I think this is more of a reason to explain growth trends rather than the 'image' that these other places have. Truthfully, if a city's image was the most important way to ensure success then New Orleans would still be the biggest city in the South

I also don't think a city's success needs to be measured on how much it grows. Otherwise Charleston would have to be one of the biggest failures in American history. Yet, we know Charleston is no Buffalo.

Why? Because Charleston stopped looking over it's shoulder a long time ago and focused on quality not quantity. I wish Louisville would take a similar approach and in a way it is.

That's how I think Louisville can get 'back in the game'.
 

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Louisville has an identity.

It is a sad day when someone from Louisville thinks of Charlotte as a better or more advanced city. Charlotte after all is the city built on smoke and mirrors. Its significance is greatly exaggerated thanks to a very well organized marketing machine (please, "Up"town?). I'm sure that people do enjoy its offerings and that the folks that live there are generally happy but who wants to live in a city that only appeals to preppy breeders (growth rate outpaces the job creation rate nearly 2 to 1). Louisville is significantly cooler, way prettier, has a much, much, much, much nicer natural setting, a better arts and music scene, better reputation for medical treatment, flourishing economy and two iconic symbols in the bat and Church Hill Downs. Be proud, be happy...don't wish for sprawl and tackiness.

My only recommendation for Louisville is to remodel those buildings downtown that look like lighthouses. Those things are awful.
 

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My first remark would be never to class Charlotte with Dallas or Atlanta. Louisville is still in a similar league as Charlotte and is still very much more urban (along with a larger Urban Area). My second remark is Louisville is a nineteenth centruy industrial city like its Midwestern or Northeastern counterparts--it just has southern culture so it confuses people.

What happened is the city put all its focus on industry and the fall of industry in the postwar era killed the city, along with other factors such as being located in a poor state with a messed up tax structure. Another huge mistake was not building a new super regional aiport iin the 1950's which could have been a hub like Atlanta when Delta wanted to make a hub in Louisville.

Let's face it....Americans like everything new. That is why cities like Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix sprang up out of nowhere, along with the automobile. Cities like Louisville were viewed as old and industrial. The only reason cities like Philly or Detroit are still important is because they were so big in the post war era. Louisville was big but never attained that status nor the white collar banking jobs of those cities. In short, Louisville suffers the same "plight" as other old southern metros--Charleston, Memphis, Richmond, Birmingham, New Orleans. These are all old industrial cities that had struggled for awhile but are now seeing a boom like in Louisville. Ironicaly, these cities are my favorite in the South, and many forumers and urban (and architecture) fans agree.

The way I see it, Louisville has hit a mini boom in the last 10 years. Its industrial image is a relic and it is becoming a major world distribution and logistics center with UPS and its spinoff distribution centers.
 

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Louisville is fighting location. The Midwest, generally, is declining economically. It's been going on for 3 decades, now. There are some small exceptions, like Columbus and Indianapolis, and Chicago is doing well, but, in general, most cities and towns in the Midwest are declining. This causes Louisville to suffer from experiencing great economic growth, IMO.
 

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Louisville(already great city) should really boom on the riverfront. I'm talking major mixed-use and entertainment developments would add to the tourism and also quality of life. 4th Street Live is happening especially after Derby 06. As far as business I dont know too much about the commerce via water, but I think expanding the rivers influence on the city is key.
 

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I agree with the post above but will add one thing to it. Keep building 4th St. as an entertainment district and keep pumping new housing units into downtown. Create a vibrant street-scene and people will come because people like to feel apart of something and a vibrant city with exciting things happening downtown and plenty of people on the street does that. And everyone knows these days that jobs follow people not the other way around anymore. Quality of life is the new economic engine for U.S. cities
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
spencer114 said:
Louisville has an identity.

It is a sad day when someone from Louisville thinks of Charlotte as a better or more advanced city. Charlotte after all is the city built on smoke and mirrors. Its significance is greatly exaggerated thanks to a very well organized marketing machine (please, "Up"town?). I'm sure that people do enjoy its offerings and that the folks that live there are generally happy but who wants to live in a city that only appeals to preppy breeders (growth rate outpaces the job creation rate nearly 2 to 1). Louisville is significantly cooler, way prettier, has a much, much, much, much nicer natural setting, a better arts and music scene, better reputation for medical treatment, flourishing economy and two iconic symbols in the bat and Church Hill Downs. Be proud, be happy...don't wish for sprawl and tackiness.

My only recommendation for Louisville is to remodel those buildings downtown that look like lighthouses. Those things are awful.
I never said the Charlotte was better than Louisville. Or that I was in anyway disappointed with Louisville. The fact is that I love Louisville, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but as with every city there is room for improvement. I want to see my city grow and prosper even more than it is now.
 

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ATLanta94 said:
Louisville(already great city) should really boom on the riverfront. I'm talking major mixed-use and entertainment developments would add to the tourism and also quality of life. 4th Street Live is happening especially after Derby 06. As far as business I dont know too much about the commerce via water, but I think expanding the rivers influence on the city is key.
Louisville is slowly rediscovering the value of the river with things like Waterfront Park and Riverpark Place


But one of the biggest things about getting close to the river is flooding, and its something a lot of developers choose to avoid having to work with. Riverpark place is looking at puting its towers on top of parking garages to keep the residential units well above any flooding.
 

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I like that graphic. I really hope that happens.
 

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^^
Its slow going, but it looks like some pretty solid planning. I'm confident it will go up.


EDIT: Just looked at our development thread and today new renderings and plans were released about this project. The site gives some great detail on what the buildings will look like and such.
http://www.poecompanies.com/
 

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Ian604 said:
I like that graphic. I really hope that happens.

It will happen. The first phase was just approved today, and it should break ground in the fall (only a few months before Museum Plaza) with twin 16 story towers and a row of 5 story condo buildings behind them. A 14 story tower was also announced today on our medical campus.
 

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What happened is the city put all its focus on industry and the fall of industry in the postwar era killed the city, along with other factors such as being located in a poor state with a messed up tax structure. Another huge mistake was not building a new super regional aiport iin the 1950's which could have been a hub like Atlanta when Delta wanted to make a hub in Louisville.
Living in Dayton, which really was built on industry, I can see that Louisville has a more diversified economy and is more a regional economic center, which is why it isn't declining the way Dayton and some other Ohio cities are. In comparison Louisville seems pretty healthy economically.

As for the airport, Louisvilles big chance came in the early 1970s when a proposal was made to create a state-of-the-art airport, totally replacing Standiford Field. Locations where looked at, and one was settled on..near Finchville in Shelby County, which would have required an access highway into the city. The concept was to build something like Dallas-Fort Worth or Hartsfield (from what I recall from the graphics.)

I think NIMBYism killed the plan. If built this Finchville jetport would have been a good candidate for a major passenger hub airport when deregulation occured and airlines restructured.

However, whats happening now with UPS is really the big news. In the 19th century the river, and later the L&N with its entree into the Southern regional markets, is what built Louisville..transportation and logistics facilititating urban growth. In the 21st Century UPS and the airplane has replaced the L&N and the railroad as the big economic engine in town, giving Louisville an entree into a global market, not just a regional one.
 

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scraperboy said:
It will happen. The first phase was just approved today, and it should break ground in the fall (only a few months before Museum Plaza) with twin 16 story towers and a row of 5 story condo buildings behind them. A 14 story tower was also announced today on our medical campus.

That's wonderful news!
 

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Louisville needs more F500 companies. The more you have the more they will invest into the community. Louisville needs to get it's name out there. Build a HUGE convention center(1.3 million square feet).
 

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Louisville is a great city. It has lots of old, urban areas and it is growing. I think Louisville needs a couple of 700ft. towers and a major league sports team would really help Louisville get an indentity and help showcase the area as a large metropolis.
 
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