An experience that’s different for everyone.
We’re a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. We’re a natural haven for quiet reflection. We’re an ongoing festival of sounds and sights. We’re your favorite band blasting into the night sky.
And we’re right here, accessible to all.
Since the completion of the first portions of Waterfront Park in the mid 1990’s, the Waterfront Development Corporation’s mission has evolved into fundraising, park maintenance, event production and coordination, park planning and construction.
WDC oversees its mission from our funky little building on the wharf, which has its own interesting history. We also manage the Belle of Louisville on behalf of Louisville Metro, have Design Review Authority in the Waterfront District, and developed the master plan for Riverview Park in Southwest Jefferson County.
Park planning and construction shifted into high gear with the creation of the Louisville Waterfront Master Plan, which was approved in 1991, and continues today with design and construction of Phase IV of the park. An office staff of eight oversees planning, project oversight, Waterfront District design review, event production and coordination, fundraising, and other administrative functions.
Supplemental office staff include several 4-legged park greeters. When you visit, you will be greeted by anywhere from one to six enthusiastic and wet noses. They will be happy to show you to the treat closet, in hopes of a reward. Regulars include Lucy Grissom, Lily Karem, Pancho Smith, Ella Bilitski, Stella & Gunnar Nelson, and Mojo Pepper.
Waterfront Park has its own maintenance crew, which is in the park 364 days per year to help ensure that a clean and well-functioning venue is ready to greet the public. Maintenance includes mowing, hedging, tree cutting, planting, aeration and a number of other landscaping tasks; care of park equipment, irrigation and electrical service; and keeping litter picked up. The Waterfront crew also repairs park furnishings (benches, trash cans), lighting, and playground equipment. Staff serve as park ambassadors, frequently answering questions and providing information to park visitors.
Finally, Waterfront Park hosts more than 150 events every year, everything from concerts, festivals and our own WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays concert series, to charity walks, volleyball tournaments, weddings, and corporate picnics. With the exception of WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays, WDC brokers park venue space to outside event producers. You’ll find organized events going on every weekend, February through the end of December, and a number of events all week long during the Summer.
Waterfront Design Review
When property owners in the Waterfront District decide to build new structures, renovate existing structures, change their signage or landscaping, or undertake any other exterior changes, those projects must gain approval through the Waterfront Review Overlay District (WRO) design review process.
Waterfront Economic Impact
Check out our Economic Impact Report to see the effect of Waterfront Park on the Waterfront District and surrounding areas of downtown Louisville. Both an infographic version and a text version are available for download in pdf format (here is a link to download Adobe Reader, if needed).