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Louisville's Silent Guardians
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Author: Michele Dutcher
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An informal bike tour of 19th Century Bas Reliefs in the Louisville Area.

Rating: Unrated

Sample Chapter

Louisville’s Silent Guardians



They’ve been up there watching for over a century. They’ve seen generations go about their daily business – being born, living, dying.  They were born themselves during the dawn of Louisville’s commerce in the late 1800s – and more were added until Black Friday 1929 brought the curtain down.

 Now many are forgotten, watching silently over abandoned doorways and rooftops. They wait patiently for someone, sometime to look up and see them there.

Within these pages you’ll find: Greek gods and goddesses; fierce dragons; comic jesters; lions; doves; Pegasus - and gargoyles ready to take flight and pounce upon anyone who would disturb their neighborhood’s peace. There are even homeowners and builders who once dared to place their images up there among the gods and mythic characters.

This book is dedicated to taking time out of a busy day to simply look up.


Map of route taken from Conrad-Caldwell House to City Hall



1.          1402 St James Ct - Conrad-Caldwell House

2.          1423 4th Street   3 men’s faces

3.          1510 3rd Street   Man’s face

4.          1470 3rd Street   3 Dragons

5.          1416 3rd Street   4 winds

6.          1375 4th Street   Man’s face and lions

7.          1327 3rd Street   Dove and lion

8.          202 Ormsby   German Dragon

9.          117 Ormsby   Fish Monster

10.           1228 3rd Street   Sea Monster

11.           1143 3rd Street Walnut Street Church Gargoyles

12.           970 4th Street – Memorial Auditorium goddesses

13.           301 York Street – Library Main Branch   Bacchus


14.           332 W Broadway – Heyburn Building  Asian Dragons

15.           306 W Broadway – Fincastle Building  Dancing girls

16.           651 4th – Kentucky Theater Building   Griffins

17.           625 – 633 4th    Comic Masks

18.           623 4th Street – The Palace   Sea motifs

19.           572 4th Street – Guthrie- Coke building   Green-man faces

20.           546 4th Street – McCory Drugstore   lions

21.           526 4th Street  -  Starks building   lions

22.           211 – 217  5th Street   flying lions/ comic faces

23.           420 W Market (5th and Market)   King Neptune

24.           425 W Market Amstat Building   lions/ eagles

25.           6th and Jefferson – City Hall  Poseidon

26.           6th and Jefferson – farm animals



Conrad-Caldwell House (1)

1402 St. James Court  


Early on this house was known as "Conrad's Castle." It is one of the most magnificent Old Louisville homes and defines Richardsonian Romanesque architecture.  The building price in 1894 was $35,000.  Walk around it and enjoy its gargoyles, lions, mysterious beasts and fleur-de-lis. I counted 23 faces.  The Caldwell family purchased it in 1905 after Mr. Conrad's death.  The St. James Court Association purchased it in 1987.

   an imp with teeth and a lion

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