Phase IV is poised to be an exciting expansion of Waterfront Park. We believe this new phase will magnify the presence of the river and will give us all more opportunities to experience our waterfront.
Phase IV land lies west of Louisville’s principal wharf and harbor area at Fourth Street. Largely neglected, it sits beneath the I‐64 Interstate Highway. Phase IV will celebrate the rich local history and heritage of the area. The site was the location of Louisville’s first frontier fortress, Fort on Shore, and later a heavy industrial site.
We have a Conceptual Master Plan for Phase IV, which will extend Waterfront Park west of 10th Street. A 22-acre expansion between 10th and 15th Streets will connect downtown and West Louisville along the waterfront. This new phase will provide additional open space along the river, increasing our opportunities for new experiences and activities. The RiverWalk will connect the current park space to the Phase IV expansion.
The Phase IV site is rich in history and opportunity. The design team worked closely with our Louisville community to discover and understand the area’s storied past. You can learn more about the historical significance of the Phase IV site as well as the various components of the plan in the original Master Plan and the updated Phase IV Overview Booklet.
In the first component of Phase IV, Waterfront Park and Kentucky Science Center have partnered to create an outdoor experiential learning area called PlayPort at Waterfront Park. Bringing together our passion for education, recreation, the environment, health and wellness, creativity, and childhood development, PlayPort will draw children of all ages to the river. The new area will include creative play structures and various interactive displays featuring various artifacts to celebrate and teach the waterfront’s history. PlayPort will engage families and will stimulate learning, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and imagination.
Thanks to grants from the Norton Foundation, the Gheens Foundation, and Louisville Metro, we completed concept plans for PlayPort in 2018. We are currently moving forward with engineering and design development. We can’t wait to play.
First Three Phases of Waterfront Park
Phase I Size: 55 acres Cost: $58 million Completed: 1999
Notable Features: • Great Lawn • Wharf and Festival Plaza • 900 foot long water feature • Joe’s Crab Shack • Overlook • Harbor Lawn • Walking paths, picnic, and play areas
Phase II Size: 17 acres Cost: $15 million Completed: 2004
Notable Features: • Adventure Playground • Brown-Forman Amphitheater • Brown-Forman Lawn • Restaurant space • Promenade • Walking paths, picnic, and play areas
Phase III Size: 13 acres Cost: $41 million Completed: 2013
Notable Features: • Big Four Bridge • Big Four Lawn • Lincoln Memorial • The Swing Garden • Walking paths, picnic, and play areas
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