You are here

Shawnee Park

-A A +A
1891–1895, Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. Bounded by the Ohio River, W. Broadway, and Southwestern and Northwestern pkwys.
  • Great Lawn (Photograph by W.marsh, CC BY SA-3.0)

Located at the west end of the city along the broad terrace of the Ohio River, the 180-acre Shawnee Park is one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s three large Louisville parks. Since much of the land for the proposed park was owned by investors, this was the last park to develop. The park features a curving drive with views of the river to the west, as well as a Great Lawn, promenades, beaches, and a boat ramp. The golf course north of the park was added in 1927. A 1937 flood altered the meadow landscape but these effects were later mitigated.

Between 1924 and 1954, Shawnee Park was legally restricted to whites; the smaller, 61-acre Chickasaw Park (1923) to the south was designated for use by African Americans. Following the park’s completion, subdivisions developed quickly in the area, with the neighborhood taking the name Shawnee.


Haragan, Patricia Dalton. The Olmsted Parks of Louisville. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2014.

Rademacher Susan M. “A Living Legacy: Louisville’s Olmsted Landscapes.” In Louisville Guide, edited by Gregory A. Luhan, Dennis Domer, and David Mohney. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004.

Writing Credits

Cristina Carbone
Cristina Carbone



  • 1891

    Design and construction of Cherokee, Shawnee and Iroquois Parks. Design and construction of Eastern, Southern, Southwestern and Algonquin Parkways.

What's Nearby


Cristina Carbone, "Shawnee Park", [Louisville, Kentucky], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.