celebrates 150 years
home is on the
National Register of Historic Places
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 2005) A drive down Hurstbourne
Parkway in Louisville these days is a constant reminder of how fast-paced
our lives have become as suburban growth takes over what was once quiet
by Kelly Kapp
on South Hurstbourne Parkway,
is owned and operated by the
But nestled amid all the modern hubbub sits a glimpse
of the past. This insight into Louisville history is illustrated in
the peaceful surroundings of the historic home of Nunnlea, located at
1940 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy. between Taylorsville Road and I-64.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Nunnlea sits on
land that was once called Willowbrook. This was a large parcel of land
owned by Jacob Funk, one of the first settlers of Jefferson County.
Built in 1855, the house was originally the home of Alfred H. Hite and
his wife, Harriet, who was the great-granddaughter of Jacob Funk. In
1935, after three other owners, the house was sold to Virginia Nunn
Eady and George Eady, who named the house Nunnlea in honor of Mrs. Eadys
maiden name. Famous past visitors to the house include President Herbert
Nunnlea celebrated its 150th anniversary during a two-day extravaganza
on July 30-31. The event was sponsored by the Beautification League
of Louisville & Jefferson County, which today owns the property.
The event included self-tours of the house and property, with league
members standing by to direct visitors. Meanwhile, Civil War re-enactors
set up camp and performed military drills on the grounds. The event
also included quilts for sale, a lunch that consisted of food from the
late 1800s, and an antique auction. Ken Hays, of Ken Hays & Associates
Inc., provided his auctioneer services.
The Beautification League, formed in 1932, is dedicated to enhancing
the green areas in Louisville and Jefferson County. The league is comprised
of civic gardens and clubs, as well as individuals and businesses in
the Louisville and Jefferson County areas. The league also sponsors
an annual Landscape Awards Program, in which both owners of business
and non-residential properties can compete in 16-17 categories for recognition
for their landscaping efforts. Past winners include the Louisville Boat
Club and The Forum office building on Shelbyville Road.
by Kelly Kapp
Kathleen Owen, Caroline Randolph and
Corie Neumayer pose at the Nunnlea home.
According to league president Caroline Randolph, the League
scouts out properties that its members feel deserve awards. They also
take recommendations from people who feel that a certain property should
In 1962, the Beautification League purchased Nunnlea and two acres of
surrounding land to prevent the house from being razed by a developer.
Since then, the league has been working steadily to repair and restore
Even though upkeep is expensive, we have made many improvements
to the property, said Kathleen Owen, the leagues vice president
and events planner.
These include air conditioning, a new copper roof and decorations expressing
an authentic 1850s motif.
Nunnlea offers many types of educational programs and also rents the
house for wedding receptions and parties.Owen said the league aims for
a wide variety of topics with its educational programs.
For example, the league offers programs about gardening and landscaping,
historical preservation, and offers a bridal open house. The league
offers tours of the house by appointment, including tours for schools.
Students like to see and touch history, says Owen. Educational
programs are open to the public, and participants do not have to be
Promoting and preserving history is an important part of the Beautification
Leagues many goals, Owen said. We want to keep history alive,
said Owen. Theres a lot of history in this whole area.
Owen believes the league can help preserve this history for future
generations because once its gone, its gone.
Karry Reasor, a member of the Hoosier Brigade, the group that performed
the Civil War re-enactments, agreed that educating others about the
history of Nunnlea is important. Reasor said she is glad Nunnlea opens
its doors for people of all ages to take advantage of educational
For information about the Beautification League, volunteering
or the programs or rental space offered at Nunnlea, call (502) 491-7343
or visit www.nunnlea.com.
For information about the Hoosier Brigade and historical re-enactments,
call Gen. Graves at (812) 883-0790.
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