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“Victorian era history, wealth of guide info”

Conrad-Caldwell House Museum (Conrad's Castle)
Ranked #7 of 171 things to do in Louisville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum is a historic, Victorian mansion located in the heart of Old Louisville on St. James Court. It is one of the finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and was the masterpiece of famed local architect Arthur Loomis of Clarke & Loomis. Surrounded by a beautiful courtyard neighborhood at the center of the largest collection of Victorian Homes in the US, "Conrad's Castle" featured all the latest innovations of its day, including interior plumbing and electric lighting. Known for its beautiful woodwork and parquet floors, this massive Bedford limestone home, covered with gargoyles, beautiful archways, and elaborate stone designs, incorporated 7 types of hardwoods and magnificent stained glass windows in the interior design, making it one of the most stunning homes in Old Louisville. The Museum has been lovingly restored to the Edwardian Age, housing a massive collection of period items including many original pieces, and stands as a testament to the abundant lifestyle of the owners, two of Louisville's most prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs, Theophile Conrad and William E. Caldwell. Step back in time as you learn more about the era, the neighborhood, and the families who lived here. **The House offers tours Wednesday through Friday and on Sundays at 1 pm and 3 pm and on Saturdays at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. For security reasons we do not offer self-guided tours, we only offer guided tours at the stated times. Tour availability is on a first come, first serve basis, we do not take reservations for groups of less than 10 people. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the door 30 minutes prior to each tour. Advanced reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.Ticket costs are Adults-$10 Seniors-$6 Students-$4 Children under the age of 5 are free. ***On the 3rd Thursday of every month the museum also offers extended tour times at 5pm & 7pm for our 3rd Thursday Twilight Tours. Our tours last between 60-90 minutes as our trained tour guides take guests back in time through this informative tour of the home's 3 floors set up with original family pieces circa 1908. Donations are greatly appreciated as this is a 501(c)3 non-profit. More information on the museum and our special events can be found by visiting our website. Thank you for your interest in the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum!
Louisville, KY
Level Contributor
65 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Victorian era history, wealth of guide info”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2012

If you love history and the Victorian era, Louisville has the largest Victorian house district in the country. At the center of Old Louisville sits many Victorian mansions and houses, but this is the only one that is always available to tour year-round (call to get exact tour times. Admission is $10/adult and less for seniors/children and it is a surprisingly long tour for a house and worth the expense in my opinion. On a Wednesday in May, there was a 1:00pm and a 4:00pm tour only).
Our guide was an ancestor of the original owner and she was wonderful and incredibly full of trivia and fact. The neighborhood area is St. James Court in historic Old Louisville (a few miles from downtown Louisville), and is a beautiful courtyard full of Victorian mansions well cared for and it still has the original gas-powered lamplights from the 1800's in the central park area.
The house also features a lot of trivia and facts about the late 1800's Southern Exposition, which was like a World's Fair effort to bring the world to Louisville. Thomas Edison showed off his new lightbulbs here and the expo building was lit by electricity and was only second to New York City in having as much electricity at that time.
Wonderful architecture, three floors of ornate carvings and beautiful historical artifacts and furniture. So happy we got the great granddaughter of the owners to give the tour too.
If you are lucky enough to be here in very early December, try to take the hugely popular Old Louisville's Victorian Christmas Holiday Tour (order tickets EARLY- they sell out fast). This is fabulous to do- just dress warmly as you walk the neighborhood in chilly December (occasional shuttle transport) and tour many Victorian homes that are all unique in architecture and furnishings and Christmas decorations, as well as see how a few current residents decorate their mansions in a more modern style for Christmas.
This Victorian neighborhood is one of Louisville's pride and joys. In early October (first weekend), there is a nationally renowned St. James Art Fair that takes over the St. James Court area and several blocks beyond. Well received artists and some so-so ones, but it is very popular, crowded but enjoyable. Go to the Fair on a Friday vs. Saturday and Sunday for less crowds. Go weekdays to the Conrad-Caldwell house for a more smaller group tour experience.
If you love antiques and/or history of the Victorian era, you will enjoy this tour. Leave the coach potato husbands at home, ladies, and only bring the enlightened history buff guys and mature, interested teens.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank mcstroz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Anna, Ohio
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Exceptional personal experience for an exceptiona home.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

The Conrad-Caldwell House is well worth a visit. We were looking for someplace to shelter from the cold during a rare Bed cold snap, and are incredibly happy we chose the Conrad-Caldwell House as shelter from the elements. The home is an amazingly beautful and well maintained example of Louisville's Victorian St. James area. And the tours are very well done, and very personable. Either a docent or actual Caldwell relative escorts you from room to room, and is only too happy to answer every possible question. By something cool from the gift shop as well, to help towards this great preservation effort.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank WilliamK3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anderson, Indiana
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very beautiful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2011

My husband I just finished touring the conrad-Caldwell house. It was very beautiful. The wood work is to die for and they gave a wonderful tour. If you are looking for a place to get married this is the place for you. The stairwell would be a great place to get wedding shots. We recommend you taking the time to vist.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank Tiffany G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Best home tour we've ever had!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2011

The greatest thing about this tour is that the family is VERY involved with the house to this day. Our tour was given by the great-granddaugter of the Caldwells themselves! It was very impressive to hear everything about the Conrads and Caldwells from someone who had a personal connection to them. Almost all the small things in the house, books, paintings, clothing, knick-knacks, papers, photos, hats, stamp collections, party favors, ect. were original to the Caldwell family. There were also several impressive original Conrad pieces. The floors are all original and very intricate designs. The house truly feels like a castle on the outside, complete with gargoyles.

I would HIGHLY recommend this tour! Our one-on-one tour was about an hour and half and the price was $10 apiece.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
7 Thank JLBurnett2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middletown, Oh
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“The exquisite Conrad-Caldwell House Museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2007

My wife and I spent a weekend touring historic homes in Louisville. One of our favorites was the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. This home, built in 1895, has exquisite woodwork and the most beautiful parquet floors I have ever seen in a home. The home is located in an area called Old Louisville amongst other old homes on St. James Court. The Street is broad, divided down the middle by a greenway and with a fountain in the middle.

To tour the home we parked on the street in front and walked up to the front door as if visiting friends. A sign at the door informed us to ring the doorbell, which we did. In a few minutes a young lady greeted us and and welcomed us into the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. We were the only ones there at the time so for the admission price of $5 each we received a private tour. The young lady that lead us through the home was very knowledgeable and took her time to answer any questions that we had. This home has been beautifully maintained and restored and furnished with period antique furniture. It is truly a gem worth viewing.

Helpful?
14 Thank jmeinhardt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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