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Metro Newsroom

Mayor Dedicates Renovated Shawnee Pavilion

Wednesday October 15, 2008

Brown-Forman, Olmsted Conservancy help fund project

LOUISVILLEThe historic Shawnee Pavilion, an original feature of the Olmsted-designed Shawnee Park, has been renovated and made accessible for the disabled – and new restrooms have been added near the structure.

Mayor Jerry Abramson celebrated the project today by popping a Korbel champagne cork in honor of the 1920s-era pavilion, with its distinctive tiled roof. The $768,000 project was funded by Louisville Metro Government, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the Brown-Forman Corp.

“The pavilion will, once again, become a popular place for family picnics, concerts and other events,” Abramson said. “The pavilion is a treasure for our city.”

The work required all new surfaces, including the roof, stucco walls, wood ceiling, and concrete floors and sidewalks. A new walkway on the western side of the structure allows full access by park visitors with disabilities. The restored pavilion includes electrical service that can accommodate small concerts and other special events.

A new building with four restrooms was constructed nearby as part of the project, using energy-efficient lighting and water heaters.

The conservancy contributed $285,000 for the pavilion project; Brown-Forman committed $100,000 and Louisville Metro Parks, $383,000.

Abramson hailed the public-private partnership that made the project possible.

“For nearly 20 years, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy has led the fight to improve our historic Olmsted-designed parks and parkways,” he said. “The restoration of this great pavilion would not have been possible without their hard work.”

“The collaboration between Metro Parks and Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a wonderful example of private and public entities coming together for the benefit of the community,” said Mimi Zinniel, president and CEO of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “These partnerships make it more feasible to enhance our parks when tax dollars are limited.”

Since 1989, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy has raised more than $20 million to restore, enhance and preserve Louisville’s Olmsted Parks.

Abramson noted that Metro Parks and the conservancy have worked together on several projects to improve Shawnee Park over the past decade, including:

  •  creating a new sports complex by relocating ballfields away from 
     Shawnee Park’s “Great Lawn” designed by Frederick Law Olmsted;
  •  major improvements to the “Dirt Bowl” basketball courts;
  •  restoring scenic views of the Ohio River through wooded areas;
  •  major improvements to the “Dirt Bowl” basketball courts;
  •  and creating a one-way driving loop with a recreation lane, similar
     to the Scenic Loop in Cherokee Park.

Brown-Forman has supported several park improvement efforts in recent years, including Scenic Views in Shawnee, Woodlands Restoration in Cherokee and improvements to Baringer Hill in Cherokee.

“One of Brown-Forman’s key objectives in its philanthropic activities is to enhance the quality of our neighborhoods,” said Lee Tatum, vice president and chief of staff for Brown-Forman. “Shawnee Park is a magnificent place for families to meet and enjoy themselves and their community. We are proud to have been part of the pavilion restoration.”