Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Schnitzelburg 100 Years Ago!

This article marks the 100th post on this blog since its inception in April of 2013 (thanks for reading!)!  In keeping with the "100" theme,  we are going to take a virtual tour of Schnitzelburg life 100 years ago using the 1915 City Directory:

Goss Avenue was home to many German familys including: Happel, Weber, Blumer, Schmitt, Huebner, Vettiner, Rothgerber, Streckfuss, Siehlmann, Schwankert, Snider, Metzler, Mueller, Hillenbrand, Herrman, Scharre, Lotz, Wetstein, Berger, Fritsche, Merz, Borgel, Snider, Feger, Klauser, Ohlmann, Breitenstein, Haarman, Mohr, Bayens, Schoenbaechler, Sturtzel, and Frankenstein (as in Benjamin, 948 Goss).

The B.F. Elfrig Saloon was located at Goss and Boyle (929-933 Goss Avenue). 

W.F. Hauck Dry Goods was located at 1000 Goss Avenue.

Fred Schurch Dairy was at the corner of Goss and Eastern Parkway.

J.H. Taphorn Saloon was listed at 1053 Goss Avenue.

Taphorn Saloon; Currently Four Pegs Beer Lounge & Social Eatery

Jos Goss Dairy was located at 1355 Goss Avenue and Texas.

The Weber farm was located at Texas and Milton.

The Bauer dairy farm was located at Texas and Burnett.

Milton Avenue Reformed Church is listed at 853 Milton.

Milton Avenue Reformed Church; Currently Right Now Harvest Church

While the front door of Louisville Cotton Mills faced Goss Avenue, the business was listed at 1318 McHenry Street.

Jacob Hartstern and W.E. Brentlinger operated a saloon at Ash and Shelby.

J.H. Herbig Grocery was located at 1038 Ash.

E.G. Fernow Drugs was across the street at 1039 Ash Street.

A view of the cobblestone sidewalk on Ash Street.

Sarah Arnold Drygoods was located at 1100 Lydia Street and faced Bayens Grocery across the street at 1101 Lydia.

The St. Elizabeth Sister's House was located at 1010-1012 Burnett.   St. Elizabeth's Parochial School is listed at 1016 Burnett and the church is listed at 1030 Burnett.

Knabel's Grocery is listed 1101 Burnett.

Hickory Street was home to the Emerson School at Hickory and Sylvia Streets.

Emerson School; Currently Emerson Park and Gardens

*Thanks to Lisa Pisterman, our friendly neighborhood historian, for writing this article.  Lisa is the author of Louisville's Germantown and Schnitzelburg, a book filled with history and pictures of Germantown and Schnitzelburg's bygone past.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March Newsletter and February Meeting Recap

As the weather gets warmer, the event calendar starts to fill up!  Many great events are featured in this month's newsletter, including the 3rd Annual SACC Easter Egg Hunt!

Also, a BIG thank you to the nearly 40 neighbors who braved the bitter cold and made it the the February General Neighborhood Meeting!  Mike Morris gave an update on the Goss Avenue Beautification Project, our newly elected District 10 Councilman Steve Magre introduced himself, we created "love notes" for local businesses, wrote on hearts what we loved about Schnitzelburg, and enjoyed some chili!  

Photo courtesy of whattheSchnitzelburg via Instagram

Mark your calendars for our next General Neighborhood Meeting on Monday, April 27th.  The theme will be "Spring Cleaning," our featured speaker will be from Brightside, and we will have bins for your to get rid of old electronics, medications, CFL bulbs, and more!  Stay tuned for details!

Be careful during this next round of winter weather & be sure to check on your neighbors.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fall in Love with the February Newsletter!

This time of year can be so cold and dreary, but luckily there are so many great places in our neighborhood to gather together!  A visit to a local restaurant, coffee shop, pub, or store might be just the thing to cure the winter blahs!  Hey!  SACC has a General Meeting this month--why don't you join us?

Also, please share with us what you LOVE about Schnitzelburg!  Comment below or on our Facebook page!  Let's show the world why our neighborhood is so loved!
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

At the beginning of each calendar year, the SACC holds a special meeting, deemed Idea Fest, to get the creative juices for the upcoming year flowing.  Board members are challenged to think of any idea, great or small, that would benefit the community.  Anything from beautification to recreation.

On Monday, January 19th, we literally put all the ideas out on the table.  Board members placed stars next to their favorite ideas on sheet so paper.  From there we developed a priority list of ideas and most ideas were assigned a "champion" who will get the ball rolling on a project.

The Goss Avenue Beautification Project, movie night, this very blog, and the history walks are just some of the ideas from past Idea Fest meetings that became realities.

We have a fun, exciting time discussing these ideas.  Just as Vision Louisville, we wanted to share some of our ideas with you (and give you a feel for Schitzelburg's future) and encourage you to submit your own ideas!

If you see an existing idea that you would like to help with, speak up!  And you don't have to be a board member to champion a project!  Leave a comment below, start a conversation of Facebook, or message us privately.  We'll help you make connections and build the project.  Together let's make Schnitzelburg even greater!

Without further adieu, IDEAS!:

  • Create a Schnitzelburg Fitness Loop lined with signs with a neighborhood factoid and a fitness task, such as "10 jumping jacks."  Rumor has it that the old trolley loop in Schnitzelburg is exactly 3K...
  • Hold a seminar for bicycle road etiquette and safety.  Break down the antagonism between motorists and cyclists.
  • Start a free or low cost yoga class in St. E's cafeteria.
  • Replace the concrete in the medians in front of Kroger with landscaping.
  • Community bulletin boards at the corner of Burnett and Hickory.
  • Place general neighborhood maps in a few key locations that highlight the main attractions.
  • More murals.
  • Start a sweepstakes/competition to encourage people to shop at our local businesses.
  • Create a recycle/toss day for residents to shred documents and discharge old electronics, batteries, lightbulbs, medications, etc.
  • Move SACC finances to Google docs for improved record keeping and transparency.
  • Add swings to the playground at Emerson Park.
  • Plant a wildflower/no-mow zone at the southwest entry to Emerson Park.
  • Develop a way of inventorying and monitoring vacant and abandoned properties.
  • Make Hickory a "Stroll District" by encouraging more commercial business, making Hickory more walkable and bike friendly, and incorporating traffic calming. 
  • Create a tour of homes with unique houses of Schnitzelburg.
  • Create a homebrew festival (incorporate with the spring and fall Schnitzelburg Walks?).
  • Start an Adopt-a-Block program that will do litter patrol, watch for clogged storm drains and street lights out, help relay neighborhood information, etc.
  • Paint trash cans in visible locations by simply stenciling addresses on them or encourage artists to make more of an artistic statement.
  • Reduce heat islands (Oscar's Hardware parking lot; All Wool & Yard Wide courtyard) by planting trees in containers or "installations."
  • Create stump sculptures in the neighborhood out of long standing stumps, or look into having them removed.
  • Have a mobile identification tag creator at the dog walk.
That's just a fraction of our ideas - we had over 80 this year!

So, what are YOUR ideas for Schnitzelburg?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Post Up at The Post

The New Year will bring a new eatery to Germantown, and you have probably noticed a bit of construction at 1045 Goss Avenue as new owners, Laura and Nash Neely, build their pizzeria – The Post.

Some people may think Laura and Nash are a little crazy.  

Nash is leaving a corporate job in finance to jump back into the restaurant industry.  Laura is working as an attorney while simultaneously helping her husband run the restaurant.  The restaurant, nestled between Yesternook and Hali B. & Co. Salon, is an old VFW Post that many would have thought should be razed instead of rebuilt; followed by a lengthy rezoning process and a thoughtful reimagining of the vacant building.

Crazy or not, the Neely’s are ready to serve Germantown a slice of pizza.  They believe in their pizza and believe it fills void for hungry Germantowners and Louisvillians.

A big, floppy slice of New York style pizza is hard to come by in Louisville.  Papalino’s disappeared in 2014, Luigi’s Pizzeria’s hours are only conducive to the Monday through Friday work crowd, and the skuzzy, punk theme of Spinelli’s isn’t for everyone.

Germantown pizza options, outside of major-chain-delivery, are limited to two.  The Come Back Inn offers “casual, Italian-American dishes” that includes traditional Italian pizzas, yet most diners come for the heaping servings of pasta or chicken breast bake.  Their forte is home-cooking, not pizza.  Danny Mac’s Pizza is home of the “Schnitzelburg Square,” a name given to his pizzas for their square shape and square slices.  Danny Mac makes a delicious pie, perfect for take-out or enjoying during a square dance intermission, but the AmVet’s Post* where Danny Mac’s is located isn’t a likely hangout for those looking for a restaurant experience (you can order drinks at the bar and catch a game on a flat screen TV, but there’s no table service). 

Insert The Post. 

The Post will offer New York style pizza by the slice or by the pie.  Their largest pizza will be 20”, creating an easily foldable slice.  Cheese, pepperoni, and a specialty pie that changes daily will be by-the-slice options (ideal for late night customers); while more formal, larger parties can order a whole pie they can customize or choose from their house specials.  Chef Brian Cunningham, transplant from The Mellow Mushroom, is working on the menu and perfecting the pies.

Brian Cunningham and Brandon Driver

The beer and wine selection will be “simple at first,” according to Nash.  It will feature beers, both craft and domestic, from breweries across America.  Beer snobs will be satisfied, but the Neely’s stress that there will be plenty of frosty Budweisers and Miller Lites to go around.  Acknowledging Germantown’s blue-collar roots, The Post will be a place anybody can walk in and get a slice of pizza and a domestic longneck for a reasonable price.

The Post will be open from 4 pm to 2 am, with the possibility of opening for lunch in the future.  The Neely’s were quick to shutdown any notion of extending their hours to 4 am in the future.  They are, first and foremost, a restaurant.  They don’t see Goss Avenue being home to late-night, party bars, akin to Baxter Avenue.  They love the small town, Main Street feel of Goss Avenue and respect the residents that live on the street, especially those who live across from The Post.

They really care about The Post and the neighborhood, and that is apparent.

We first met Laura and Nash at The Post in September.  The young couple biked over from their house in German-Paristown. 

Despite the daily buzz of construction, we didn’t expect much, judging by the exterior.  We were wrong.

Shine Contracting and Pickett/Passafiume Architects are largely to thank for the transformation of the VFW Post into The Post.  Shine Contracting’s impressive portfolio includes an old firehouse that has become the ultra-trendy, Bakersfield-themed Silver Dollar in Clifton, and the NuLu eatery, Decca, that includes a fabulous rathskeller and outdoor area. 

The contractor and architect team didn’t just want to renovate; they wanted to rethink the VFW Post to have strong, functional bones and seem larger and more open.

The entire building has been gutted, leaving only the original hardwood floors.  All new electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems have been installed.  The kitchen in the rear of the building boasts new concrete floors, a new walk-in cooler, and new appliances.  The floor plan changed and a new bar replaces the old one.

The camelback floor that creates a literal hump in the middle of the building was gutted and split.  Half of the upper level houses a mechanical room, while the other half was removed to make a high, vaulted ceiling for the first floor. 

New windows, including a large floor to ceiling window the size of a garage door across from the bar, helps this long, narrow shotgun style structure feel monumentally larger. 

The capacity for inside the restaurant can hold 160 people and a combined 200 when the front patio is open.

Even though there is a lot of new in The Post, there remains some old. 

“When they left, they left everything,” said Laura about the previous occupants, the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Among the found items were a bunch of trophies, an American flag missing some stars, and a ton of pictures, including pictures of “women with really big hair.”

The Neely’s kept most of what was left behind and are using some of it as décor for the restaurant.  The flag has been hung on the wall.  Pictures of the VFW’s Ladies Auxiliary (those ladies with big hair) have been framed and hung.  Hand painted signs advertising chicken dinners and picnics at the VFW Post are now vintage wall décor.

Our last visit to The Post, Nash was beaming with pride to show off a new art piece: a game board they recently stumbled upon in an antique shop.  It’s not just any game board: the monopoly-esque board boasts squares of bygone and present area businesses such as Parson’s Service Station, Leverone’s Beer Depot, and Check’s Café.  But what is more incredible is who the board serendipitously used to belong to: the VFW Post 5636, the exact post that now houses the pizzeria.

The name and décor are nods to the building’s history, but 1045 wasn’t always a VFW Post; it spent most its life as a residential property.

Originally 1045 Goss was built between 1885 and 1886, although when the house was first built, it was numbered 1041 Goss Avenue.  The first owner of the property was John L. Rudloff who operated Rudloff, Settle & Company, a chair factory on Vine Street between Clay and Hancock, with his business partner, William Settle.  Following John’s death in 1894, his widow, Catherine, resided at the location with her daughter until 1907.   From 1907 to 1910, the property was occupied by a carpenter, Dennis L. Thompson.  In 1908, the property was renumbered to 1041A and the property next door (where the current business, Hali B.’s is located today) was numbered 1041B.  In 1909, the Post property was renumbered by the U.S. Postal Service and has been known as 1045 Goss since then.

Marriage announcement for
Albert & Mattie Bayens.
The Kentucky Irish American.
August 27, 1904
From 1910 to 1920, Albert L. Bayens and his family resided in the home.  Albert was a packer for Belknap Hardware.  William P. Osterreader, a machinist at a planting mill, resided at the property in 1921.  John P. Schoenlaub, a funeral director, lived on the location from 1922 to 1923.  William F. Bahr, a chef, and his wife, Julia, lived at 1045 Goss from 1924 to 1936.  Odie Michael, a weaver at the Louisville Textile Mill, resided at the location from 1937 to 1945.  John Cornell, a dispatcher for LG&E, and his wife Mary, lived there from 1945 to 1949.  Charles W. Wise, a mechanic, and his wife Eunice, lived at the property from 1949 to the mid-50’s.  The VFW Post Number 5636 acquired its first interest in the property in October, 1956 and thus operated into the new millennium. 

Mo’s Food Mart updated their look and added a hot plate lunch.  Yesternook continues to grow and now boasts new owners, Lynn Gould and Autumn Rhodes.  Four Pegs is under new management and will soon roll out a brunch offering.  Three Points Beautification Project has added a mural to the Abell Elevator building and transformed the intersection of Goss Avenue and Logan Street.  Miss Kay’s has moved out of the corner of Goss and Texas and a new occupant will soon take over the space (more on that soon).  Underhill Associates have moved into the old PVA building on Goss and removed the chain link, barbed-wire fence in the front of the property.  And, most notably, Underhill Associates are converting the old cotton mill into 184 loft style apartments, called Germantown Mill Lofts (the loft project actually caught the attention of the bank and solidified The Post’s loan).
The Germantown Times recently ran a headline: “Germantown Resident Expresses Concern that New Pizza Place on Goss May Inspire Other Good Ideas.”  Despite our laugh at their satirical article, we genuinely hope no one sees this positive progress as a concern.  And while The Post can’t take credit for changes already underway on Goss Avenue, their presence will most likely encourage positive change for Goss in the future.
For now, you can sit at The Post, enjoy a slice of pizza, and watch it all unfold.

The Post plans on having a soft opening soon and being fully operational by the end of the month.  Stay tuned to The Post's Facebook for more information.

*Laura and Nash realize The Post and the AmVet’s Post may cause confusion because of their names.  They don’t think customers will make the mix-up, but if they do, said Laura, “we hope they go in and have a pizza and support a small business wherever they are.”  

Story written by Jennifer Chappell

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Newsletter!

Happy New Year from the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council!

Check out the first newsletter of 2015 - the January newsletter!  Update your calendars to include 2015 SACC events and meetings!

There's so much going on around Schnitzelburg that we couldn't fit it all in the newsletter, so here are some additional dates and scoops:
  • The Post, the pizzaria at 1045 Goss Avenue, is set to open in about a week!  More on this soon!
  • Germantowner Craig Bayens is one of 13 contestants on Spike TV's Framework, a show that forces furniture designers and makers to face off.  Meet Bayens and watch the Framework premier at Check's Cafe on Tuesday, January 6th.  The party starts at 9 and the show starts at 10.  More information on the Facebook event page for the Framework Viewing Party.

  • The new year is a great time to downsize: junk pick-up for Schnitzelburg is January 23rd through January 25th.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Welcome New Board Members!

Four new board members were elected to join the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council at the General Meeting on Monday, November 24th: Jane Evans, Alan Grisanti, Nick Seivers, and Kara Underwood. 

We are delighted to have these four individuals serving on the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council and we look forward their contributions to the board and to the community!  Since board members are volunteers, we truly appreciate the time and energy they are dedicating to make a stronger Schnitzelburg!

Prior to being elected, the board asks that all candidates complete a simple application to identify why they are interested in serving on the board and to explore how they see Schnitzelburg in the future.  In order to introduce you to these four fantastic individuals, we have taken excerpts from their applications so you can meet them in their own words. 

Jane Evans
Why are you interested in serving the SACC?

I would like to give back to our community. I want to be a more active participant in improving Schnitzelburg and connecting with other community members.

What specific interests or concerns do you think are important for Schnitzelburg to focus on?

I am most interested in our gardens, parks, and trees.  I think it would benefit the community to find or provide more activities for the neighborhood youth.

Alan Grisanti
Why are you interested in serving the SACC?

Having grown up in Schnitzelburg, it’s been amazing to see the neighborhood strengthen its identity and foster a feeling of community in the area.  I want to serve on the council to help the neighborhood grow as one of Louisville’s best places to live –a walkable neighborhood with great local businesses that’s environmentally and socially conscious.

What specific interests or concerns do you think are important for Schnitzelburg to focus on?

I think beautification and support of local business work in tandem to create a unique community.  I always describe the neighborhood as either “up and coming” or going through a kind of “renaissance” (depending on your historic point of view), and I think a big reason for that is due to the growth in unique local fare, as well as the improved look of the neighborhood.  It makes people want to live here, spend time here, and meet your neighbors.

Nick Seivers
Please state your employment, volunteer organizations, or any other community activities you are engaged in that you believe will help fulfill your duties as a SACC Board Member.

I currently work as an urban planner with TARC.

I have broken down silos between and collaborated with staff, design professionals, policy makers, and the general public as a professional urban planner on zoning, urban design, place making, and transportation.  In an era of fiscal belt tightening and open data, I have demonstrated, reported, and visualized measurable successes in the stewardship of the vision and objectives of each other communities I have worked.

Are there any projects or ideas you would like to spearhead as a board member?

Place making, gateways, and transportation improvements at major intersections in and around the neighborhood.  Transitioning underused properties into active and vibrant spaces to live, work, and play.  I would also like to increase participation in SACC initiatives and events.

I would like to concentrate my experience in urban design and applying for grants to preserving and enhancing the traditions and aesthetic of the neighborhood.

Kara Underwood
Kara with husband, David, who is also a SACC board member.
Why are you interested in serving the SACC?

My husband and I moved to Germantown when looking for a place to settle down and start a family.  We loved the neighborhood and I have only found more to love as we have lived here and gotten to know our neighborhood. I want to help further the progress of our home, and to help improve the neighborhood in the coming year.  I love the fact that younger people are moving in and adding to the community, and how all of the families and residents come together.  I want to serve the neighborhood and help facilitate community involvement and interaction.  I previously worked as a copy writer and in non-profit, so I have plenty of experience to contribute to the board.

What specific interests or concerns do you think are important for Schnitzelburg to focus on?

Keeping the feeling of community alive and thriving.  Bring in some new small businesses that contribute to our already established culture.  Cleaning up and improving the different areas of the neighborhood.


New board members will begin their term January 1st.  Their first official board meeting will be on Monday, January 5th.