Interested in taking an insiders’ tour of some historic Louisville landmarks? Your chance is coming up May 18 and 19, when Preservation Kentucky takes guests into three notable local historic locations.
The tours will be offered through a new concept called Tour120, which launches this coming weekend as part of National Historic Preservation Month.
The historic preservation organization will lead tours through the Brennan House downtown, the Crescent Hill Reservoir Gatehouse and the Louisville Water Tower. Brennan House tours are set for both Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; reservoir tours are Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Water Tower tours are available Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tour120 is a statewide program designed to raise awareness of the significance of historic places throughout Kentucky communities, with the goal of raising funds to help the nonprofits that preserve and manage them.
The Brennan House, built in 1868, is a three-story Italianate-style townhouse with 16-foot ceilings, stained-glass windows, hand-carved marble and slate mantels, crystal chandeliers, an expansive veranda and six bedrooms. It was one of the first houses in Louisville to have electric lights.
Built by the tobacco merchant Francis Ronald, it was sold in 1884 to Thomas Brennan, where he, his wife and their eight children lived. Brennan was co-owner of a farm machinery manufacturer and also was known for several inventions, two of which won prizes at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
The Crescent Hill Reservoir Gatehouse, constructed in 1881, sits between a pair of 53 million gallon reservoir basins, and valves within it control the flow of water in and out of the reservoir. The exterior of the structure ranges from rock face and smooth face limestone, granite, marble and precast concrete.
The Louisville Water Tower, which is part of the Louisville Water Company Pumping Station, is the oldest ornamental water tower in the world. Built between 1858 and 1860, the station’s buildings were designed in the Classical Revival architectural style in the Roman Corinthian order with ornamental details in terra-cotta and cast iron.
Prices of the tours, which will be going on all over the state, vary. Those interested can register online or simply pay at the beginning of their tour.