Silent film legend D. W. Griffith once called East Market Street home when his family was living in Louisville. Griffith was born in 1875 in LaGrange, and in 1889, after the death of his father and ensuing economic hardship, his family moved to Louisville to operate a boarding house. The brick and limestone row-building at 805 East Market Street is an unassuming two-story building where Griffith spent some of his early years helping to support his family working at a dry goods store and a bookstore. He moved to California in 1907 to pursue his career in film.
Griffith is best known for his 1915 film, Birth of a Nation, “one of the most influential and controversial of American motion pictures. Set during and after the American Civil War, the film was based on Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman, a novel and play. The Birth of a Nation is noted for its innovative technical and narrative achievements, and its status as the first Hollywood “blockbuster.” It has provoked great controversy for its treatment of white supremacy and sympathetic account of the rise of the Ku Klux Klan” (Wikipedia).
East Market Street entrepreneur, developer, and film producer Gill Holland thinks the little known house of D.W. Griffith could be a pilgrimage stop for many film fanatics and hopes to install a historical marker at the spot describing its history and importance.
- D. W. Griffith History & Biography (Wikipedia)
Here’s the trailer from Birth of a Nation.