|Beaux-Arts Baroque beauty in downtown Louisville|
Another historic downtown Louisville hotel, the Seelbach's history goes back to 1903 when two Bavarian brothers named Louis and Otto Seelbach began construction at the corner of 4th and Walnut Street. In May of 1905, the Seelbach Hotel celebrated its grand opening, drawing 25,000 visitors to their 5-hour public inspection.
Cincinnati mobster and "King of the Bootleggers" George Remus spent time at The Seelbach during the Roaring 20's where he became friends with writer F. Scott Fitzgerald who often visited the hotel while completing Army training at nearby Camp Taylor. Remus was the inspiration for The Great Gatsby's title character Jay Gatsby, and Fitzgerald referred to The Seelbach and its Grand Ballroom when his characters Tom Buchanan and Daisy were married in Louisville.
|Even Katrina had to stop and admire the lobby|
The impressive lobby was constructed with marbles from Italy, Vermont, and Switzerland along with mahogany and bronze in a classic Renaissance style and also features a vaulted dome of 800 glass panes.
Conrad Arthur Thomas was commissioned to decorate the lobby with huge mural paintings of pioneer scenes from Kentucky history. They looked to be in need of a professional cleaning, and because they were so difficult to see I didn't take many photos, though now I regret that so maybe I should go back someday and look at them again.
|General Clarke signing a treaty with the Indians|
|Down the stairs to the Rathskeller we go|
The Zodiac clock just outside the room features figures holding a sun dial and an hour glass.
Designs on the pottery were drawn by hand before the clay tiles were fired. I'm not sure why apples were the theme, grapes I could understand for the making of wine. Of course the owners were Bavarian and I believe that is a major crop in that country.
|Pelican frescoes symbol for good luck|
But wait, didn't we come to have a drink? Let's head to the bar and look at the menu. And while we decide, let's hear the story of the re-discovered "lost" Seelbach Cocktail which returned to use when an old menu was found.
Hmmm, first fresh mint with bourbon and then a lavender infused vodka cocktail - I know I will need a greenhouse for herbs when we move to Newfoundland!