This old mansion is a real charmer! We fell in love with it the moment we saw those four 22 foot columns in its classical Greek Revival facade. The entry is so majestic that it belies the elegant and sophisticated staircase that greets you once you step inside. No attention to detail was overlooked when this architectural work of art was created. We always wanted to own a big, old house, but it wasn't really practical for two people to live in a 9 bedroom, 8.5 bathroom home. Still...we really wanted to live in a cool old mansion! We decided to seek out a bed and breakfast so we could have that experience and it allows us to share the adventure with you.
It really has been an adventure, too! We have hosted about 8,000 people from over 50 countries and from every continent - we can count Antarctica because we hosted a research scientist who was flown in from the South Pole for a lecture at the University of Louisville!
We have had the distinct honor of hosting a Nobel Prize winner and two Pulitzer Prize winners. Dr. Joyce Brothers has stayed here. Multiple Emmy Award-winning newscaster Harris Faulkner spent an evening with us.
We have had some of the giants in the field of Psychology: Albert Bandura, Walter Mischel, Ronald Melzack, Anne Treisman, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Vittorio Gallese, and Leonardo Fogassi, Elizabeth F. Loftus, Leslie Ungerleider and Mortimer Mishkin.
Sonia Sanchez, author, poet and recipient of the Robert Frost Medal (one of the highest honors awarded to a nationally recognized poet) was here for 3 days of some of the most amazing conversation. Marilynne Robinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Humanities Medal and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, spent several days with us. One two separate occasions we were home for Angela Davis while she was in Louisville.
Our guest list contains some of the most renowned and illustrious names in the world Classical and Jazz music. The University of Louisville's School of Music presents the Grawemeyer Music Compostion Award which recognizes outstanding achievement by a living composer in the large genres (orchestral, chamber, choral, etc.). These people are truly the giants in contemporary Classical music and we have been so lucky to have them spend time with us here outside their duties: Bent Sorensen has stayed with us twice and his mentor composer Per Norgard stopped in to see him once; György Kurtág; Unsuk Chin; Kaija Saariaho; Sebastian Currier; Peter Lieberson; Brett Dean; Louis Andriessen, Esa-Pekka Salonen; Michel van Der Aa; Djuro Zivkovic; Hans Abrahamsen; and Andrew Norman. A few of these great composers have even played our baby grand piano. It has also been played by two winners of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competion: 2017 Gold Medal recipient Yekwon Sunwoo and 2009 Silver Medalist Yeol Eum Son. We have hosted countless musicians and even had an opera company from Katowice, Poland stay with us for a month.
From the Jazz world, we have seen the Hal Galper Trio at our doorstep. Pianist and composer Amina Figarova has stayed here many times. Each year during the first two weeks of July, we host musicians from all over the world. They travel to Louisville to attend the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshops - the best intensive program for learning jazz improvisation in the country. Also, while not a jazz musician, we had Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Swift stay with us while they were performing here in Louisville.
We have hosted a group of 12 Buddhist monks from Thailand. We had a group of Wiccans rent the entire house for a weekend for a high holiday they were celebrating. There have been countless ghost hunters here that have booked time to explore Waverly Hills Sanitorium - the most haunted place in America. Some have even come to our place because they read about our ghosts in David Domine's book, "Haunts of Old Louisville: Gilded Age Ghosts and Haunted Mansions in America's Spookiest Neighborhood." If you really want to know if we have ghosts, you will just have to come stay and find out!
By the way, we are only 2 blocks from the UofL campus which makes us ideal for parents in town visiting students. We are 2 blocks from the Speed Art Museum - an exceptional collection not to be missed. It is only 1.25 miles to Churchill Downs - home to the world famous Kentucky Derby. The Columbine is conveniently located to all the city attractions. Louisville's park system is one of the top 10 in the country and our Waterfront Park hosts lots of events during the summer months, including Thunder Over Louisville - the largest fireworks display in North America. It really is an incredible sight to see - the date changes annually to coincide with the kick off of the Kentucky Derby Festival so don't miss it! The autumn brings the St. James Court Art Show which has been rated the number one outdoor art show in America several times. It is held in Old Louisville, our neighborhood - the largest intact Victorian neighborhood in the USA.
When you finish exploring everything Louisville has to offer (don't forget to sample some bourbon!), come home to the Columbine and rest in the comfort of this 19th Century masterpiece.