[Editor’s Note: Julianne Thomas started the Invested in Shelby project after participating in a Neighborhood Institute class sponsored by the Center for Neighborhoods. She is also a member of the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council (SACC). Here, she discusses her initiative to bring the Schnitzelburg community together to celebrate and improve the Shelby Street corridor. This weekend, the Seven Sense street festival will be held on nearby Preston Street, providing a good opportunity to check out the potential of both corridors. ]
Shelby Street is one of the three main streets that define the Schnitzelburg neighborhood’s triangular boundary. It contains a mixture of homes and businesses—Dairy Del, Oscar’s Hardware, The Cure Lounge, Danny Mac’s Pizza (inside Amvets Post #9), Art Sanctuary, and Knock’s Automotive Repair, just to name a few. Shelby Street is a busy street and one of our main corridors of transportation to Downtown Louisville. It is important for this corridor to give a positive impression of the Schnitzelburg neighborhood as people use Shelby Street as an efficient route on their daily travels.
Invested In Shelby has a Facebook page and an Instagram page showcasing the good, not so good, unique, and potential just waiting to be brought forth along the corridor. It is hoped that area residents will show their pride and be empowered to join in the conversation and help develop solutions to improve this sometimes-neglected area.
The purpose of Invested in Shelby is to bring awareness to Shelby Street, which, through a bit of neglect over time, has not received the attention it deserves. It is important to acknowledge what currently exists on the bustling street and to encourage people to imagine what Shelby Street could one day become.
In May 2014, GoGreen Germantown (a SACC group headed by Susan Brunton) and Invested in Shelby hosted a beautification project along the 1400 block of Shelby Street. A great group of volunteers planted trees and shrubs, trimmed overgrown trees & weeds, cleaned up the sidewalks, and picked up trash. There will be more group projects in the future, and everyone’s help is welcome! Something as simple as picking up litter and getting to know your neighbors is a great way to improve the community.
There has been quite a bit of activity recently along this corridor:
- In 2014, Dairy Del is under new ownership and the property has been given a facelift with lovely planters and colorful umbrellas.
- In August 2014, a longtime abandoned and deteriorating house that had become an eyesore was demolished, hopefully making way for new construction or green space.
- The former Knights of St. John’s location at 1451 South Shelby Street, has been purchased and is being renovated.
- In March 2014, Club 21 changed hands & was renovated into The Cure Lounge.
I am glad to see the growing interest in bringing back and updating the small neighborhood lifestyle. It’s great to share time with friends and family. You get a chance to meet new people and their interest. I feel if these small neighborhoods are cleaned up, gain new homeowners and new business, while supporting existing business. The community will be proud. The area will have less crime and will be a safe place to raise a family.