History, art and architecture combine for a stunning view into Louisville's past.. The Scene
What was once a commercial district is now a history buff's dream. Several buildings on Main Street in downtown Louisville have been refurbished and renovated, highlighting the cast-iron fronts made popular in the 19th century. Today, the street is lined with galleries, cultural centers and shops.
From post-Civil War to the Industrial Age, Louisville had a number of foundries producing cast-iron building fronts, made popular because it was lighter, stronger and less expensive than stone. The fronts made construction easier, allowed for bigger windows and added subtle differences to each building. The street survived two fires, a tornado and several floods since its first plotting in 1779, but still houses one of the best examples of cast-iron architecture in the 700 block--the Hart Hardware Company, built in 1884.