Louisville is the largest city in the mostly rural farm land State of Kentucky. It is the 30th most populous city in the U.S as well as the capital of the State. Louisville is located in Jefferson County and has a population of roughly about 741,096 as of the 2010 census.
Louisville is predominantly white (74%) while Blacks make up 22.2%, Hispanics 2.9% and the remainder of the population consists of smaller ethnic and multiracial minorities. Louisville’s 287,012 households are 45% married couples while 29% of households have children under the age of 18 living with them. 30% of households were individuals as of the 2007 breakdown while 10% of households were made up of elderly residents over the age of 65. Louisville’s average income per household is $39, 457 while family total average incomes are at about $49,161. The average income of males is $36,484 while females’ average income is $26,255. Those below the poverty line are few with only 12.4% of the population making less than average wages.
The city was founded in 1778 and was named after King Louis XVI of France which makes the town one of the oldest west of the Appalachian Mountains. Louisville was the founding city of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad which was expanded into a 13 state system vital to the economy of the city, state and region. Today, Louisville is famously known as the home of the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food chain, The Kentucky Derby Horse Race and the University of Louisville. The Kentucky Derby is world famous and draws thousands upon thousands of tourists to the city every year and has been a long standing tradition in the city and its people. Louisville Slugger baseball bats Louisville is also known for along with its main airport which is the site of UPS’s worldwide air hub.
Louisville is located near the border of Indiana and Kentucky and the Ohio River at what is known as the falls of the Ohio. While Kentucky is considered a southern state, the culture of Louisville is also influenced by the culture of the Midwest. The city-town is located in the state’s Bluegrass Region while its development has very much been influenced by its location by the Ohio River which facilitated the town’s evolution into becoming a major shipping port. Most of the city is situated on a flat and wide floodplain with hills surrounding on the outside. The city’s land once was swampland that was drained when the city grew.
Louisville is located near other urban areas including Cincinnati, Frankfort, Lexington, Columbus and Indianapolis.
The city’s downtown business district is just south of the Ohio River. The major roads that lead outward from the heart of the town head out in every direction like the spokes on a wheel. Louisville’s airport is just less than 7 miles south of downtown while the industrial sections are located south and west of the city’s airport and the residential areas lie in the southwest, south and eastern parts of town outside of downtown. Downtown Louisville has 12 buildings that stand over 300 feet tall. Along the Hurstbourne Parkway is another business and industrial district situated in a suburban area.
The architecture of Louisville is a blend of new and old, the Old Louisville neighborhood is now a historic preservation district consisting of Victorian buildings and homes and the largest of its kind in the United States and the third largest overall. Modern skyscrapers there are many of in the downtown district as are older preserved structures. Buildings located west of Main Street in downtown feature the second largest collection of cast iron facades after New York’s SoHo district. The town in modern times since the mid-20th century has been divided into three sections, the south end, west end and east end. The East end is known as an upper and middle class area while the south end is considered working class and the west end has a reputation of being primarily African American.
Louisville’s climate is humid and subtropical. Spring generally begins in mid-late march while summer is from mid to late may into the latter part of September while October and November are the months of Fall/Autumn. Severe weather happens commonly as tornadoes are fairly common in the region. Snow and wintry weather as well as rain happens commonly in winter while first and last freeze are November 5th and April 2nd. Summers in Louisville are typically hot, humid and hazy with temperatures staying between 90-100 degrees F for long periods and drought conditions are common. On average Louisville’s temperature is at and above 90 F 38 a days a year, the annual mean temperature is 58.2 F and the average yearly snowfall total is 12.7 inches while average rainfall per year is 44.9 inches.
Spring and summer are the wettest seasons while although rainfall occurs on a fairly constant basis throughout the year. In the winter months, in January and February particularly several snow days are the norm. The coldest month in Louisville is January with an average mean temperature of 34.9 degrees F while July is the hottest month with an average daily temperature of 79.3 degrees Farenheight.
Dozens upon dozens of organizations and companies are located in Louisville although the city’s economy is underpinned by cargo and shipping industries. Its location at the Falls of the Ohio is strategic while its position in the central U.S. is unique and provides the perfect location for transferring cargo to other destinations. Shipping is big business in Louisville as the Worldport global air freight hub for UPS is located at the city’s international airport.
In recent times the city has become a major center for the medical services and health care industries central in the advancements in hand and heart surgery and also in cancer treatment. Louisville was also at one time home to the Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company which during its peak was one of the largest distributors and manufacturers of hardware in the entire United States, former tobacco company Brown and Williamson also used to operate out of Louisville and currently is home of the headquarters of GE Consumer and Industrial and one of GE’s appliance factories. Whisky is also big business in Louisville as the city and nearby areas house distilleries producing famous whisky brands. Several major films have been filmed in the Louisville area including Goldfinger, Lawn Dogs, Secretariat, Elizabethtown and The Insider.