The Galt House stands on Fourth Street, by the Ohio River
|Location||140 N 4th St., Louisville, Kentucky, United States, 40202|
|Number of rooms||1300|
The Galt House is a 25-story, 1300-room hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. The original hotel was erected in 1837. The current Galt House is presently the city's only hotel on the Ohio River. Many noted people have stayed at the Galt House, including Jefferson Davis, Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.
A $60 million renovation of the complex has been completed, which consists of extensively renovated east and west towers connected across Fourth Street with a new $4 million conservatory. The 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) conservatory is three stories in height and enclosed by steel and glass. It features a cafe, a cocktail lounge and gathering area, an aviary and greenhouse space on one level with large trees and foliage. It offers views of downtown Louisville and the Ohio River. Furthermore a newly constructed pedestrian bridge crossing Main Street connects the Galt House and Riverfront Plaza Towers with the rest of the Downtown Louisville skybridge system.
The Galt House is home to the command center for Thunder Over Louisville, the nation's largest fireworks show, held annually as the kickoff event for the Kentucky Derby Festival. It also hosts the Kentucky State Governor's Cup academic competition every year.
The Galt House was, in the early 19th century, the residence of Dr. W.C. Galt. The house was located at the corner of Second and Main Street.
In 1834, the first instance of the Galt House as a hotel was established and in 1835 was opened as a 60-room hotel on the northeast corner of Second and Main streets in Louisville. During the nineteenth century, The Galt House was acclaimed as Louisville's best hotel.
During the Civil War, the Galt House was utilized for meetings of Union generals. In September 1862, it was the scene of an unusual murder, when General Jefferson C. Davis (not to be confused with Confederate President Jefferson Davis) shot Union General William "Bull" Nelson after a dispute. In March 1864, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman met at the Galt House to plan the invasion that led to the successful capture of Atlanta, Georgia and Sherman's March to the Sea. What was to be the first Galt House burned down in 1865.
Four years later, in 1869, a larger Galt House was established on the corner of First and Main streets. Known as being the center of Louisville's social community during this time, the hotel subsequently fell on hard times in the next 50 years and was closed in 1919 due to financial difficulties. Soon after, in 1921, the building was demolished.
Over a half a century later, in 1972, the Galt House Hotel was reestablished by developer Al J Schneider as part of Louisville's Riverfront Urban Renewal Project. The West (RIVUE) Tower is 25 stories high and features deluxe guest rooms. An East (Suite) Tower was added in 1984. It offers 650 suites, including waterfront balcony suites and waterfront apartments. At nearly 1,300 guest rooms, Galt House Hotel is the largest hotel in Kentucky. It boasts 128,000 square feet of meeting space, including 53 meeting rooms, two ballrooms and an exhibit hall. On-site there are six restaurants, a business and shipping center, a spa and salon, a barbershop and retail shops. Every year since 1986, the statewide Governor's Cup has been held at the Galt House Hotel. It is the Official Hotel of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
Al J Schneider's daughter, Mary Moseley, became President and CEO of the company and has led a more than $70 million renovation of the Galt House Hotel. Under her leadership, many updates and renovations have been completed, including the addition of a 3-story glass-jewel Conservatory that links the Suite and RIVUE Towers over Fourth Street. Additionally, renovations to the Grand Ballroom and Archibald Cochran Ballroom, as well as to guest rooms and meeting rooms. Club 360 Rooftop Fitness Center and the Rooftop Garden and Terrace offer stunning views of the city of Louisville and the Ohio River. Those views are even more impressive from RIVUE Restaurant and Lounge, 25 stories atop the west tower. Other improvements include skywalks built connecting the hotel to the Kentucky International Convention Center and the KFC Yum! Center.
In 2010, Galt House Hotel introduced a new Christmas event, Christmas at the Galt House Hotel. It has grown to include the KaLightoscope Attraction featuring larger-than-life luminaries crafted by Chinese artisans, the Christmas Village with the Snow Fairy Princess and her Castle, the Candy Cane Forest with the Peppermint Express kiddie train ride and some 100 animated characters, and nearly three dozen restored figures from the former Stewart's Department Store holiday windows in downtown Louisville. Christmas at the Galt House Hotel also includes the Colors of the Season Holiday Dinner Show, and new in 2013 Sing 'n' Joy International Choral Festival and Competition.
- Brown Hotel
- History of Louisville, Kentucky
- List of attractions and events in Louisville, Kentucky
- Louisville in the American Civil War
- Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere
- Seelbach Hotel
- Domine, David. Insiders' Guide to Louisville. Guilford, CT: Globe-Pequot Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0762756957.
- Making History in Louisville
- The Lane Report - Tourism, January 2000