The Galt House stands on Fourth Street, by the Ohio River
|Location||140 N 4th St., Louisville, Kentucky, United States, 40202|
|Opening||1837 (original hotel), 1972 (current hotel)|
|Number of rooms||1300|
The Galt House is a 25-story, 1300-room hotel in Louisville, Kentucky established in 1972. It is named for a nearby historic hotel erected in 1837 and demolished in 1921. The Galt House is the city's only hotel on the Ohio River.
Original Galt House
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 by Col. Ariss Throckmorton 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. Many noted people stayed at the original Galt House, including Jefferson Davis, Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.
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.
According to a historical marker for the original Galt House, 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. As of 2014, this claim has fallen into dispute.
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.
Current Galt House
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. 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. The Grand Ballroom and Archibald Cochran Ballroom, as well as guest rooms and meeting rooms were renovated. The Conservatory, Club 360 Rooftop Fitness Center, the Rooftop Garden and Terrace, and RIVUE Restaurant and Lounge offer views of downtown Louisville and the Ohio River. 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.
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.
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.
- Brown Hotel
- History of Louisville, Kentucky
- List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area
- Louisville in the American Civil War
- Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere
- Seelbach Hotel
- "Galt House Hotel and Suites by AreaG2". AreaG2 Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- Bullard, Gabe (2014-03-16). "No, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman Didn't Plan the March to the Sea in Louisville". Louisville, Kentucky: WFPL. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
- Domine, David. Insiders' Guide to Louisville. Guilford, CT: Globe-Pequot Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0762756957.
- Making History in Louisville at the Wayback Machine (archived December 17, 2005)
- The Lane Report - Tourism, January 2000 at the Wayback Machine (archived March 11, 2007)