Skip to main content

Save Our Parks Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 1976_099-UA

Over 1,000 numbered petitions and many voluminous cards and letters of support give evidence to the strength of the campaign. Although there is no official list of citizens who supported the Save Our Parks cause, there are two 3' x 5' card files identified as active and inactive mailing lists. These card files are arranged alphabetically.

The correspondence of Gerhard Herz, secretary, and Richard M. Kain, chairman, provide a chronological account of the exchange of letters between S.O.P. representatives and public officials in 1958-1959. Other correspondence of research interest was generated by the Lepping family-- W. D. Lepping, Mrs. Mary S. White, Marian E. Lepping, and Miss Willie D. Lepping.

A chronological arrangement of Louisville newspaper clippings relating to the S.O.P./eastern expressway controversy exists on one reel of microfilm. (microfilm project 73) The clippings span the dates 1955, 1958-1968, but the bulk of these date from 1958, 1959, and 1961. Although it is an extensive collection, the Courier-Journal Index should also be consulted. (microfilm project 27)

On June 21, 1961 the Kentucky Highway Commission held a public hearing to determine as Commissioner Henry Ward stated "an exact location of Interstate 64 within a corridor already chosen through Seneca and Cherokee parks." (Courier-Journal, May 23, 1961) This hearing was the focal point of the S.O.P. campaign. The records relating to this event include statements made in support of S.O.P., manuscript and typescript notes of the hearing, display material shown at the hearing, photographs of people and displays, and other display material created after the hearing, ("The Case of the People of Louisville," 44 pp.)

A research weakness of the records is the lack of financial documentation. Only one financial record exists in this group: a statement of expenditures, May 15-31, 1958.

Of particular significance in the reference material is information on the Property Owners Association, whose members were concerned about the possibility that the proposed eastern expressway, Interstate 64, might encroach upon their property rights. It was an autonomous organization, separate from the Save Our Parks committee, although membership probably overlapped. The record types in this unit include an association resloution of organization and purpose statement; signed form letters in favor of a resolution of protest to city, state, and federal officials; and letters written by R. B. Condon, chairman of the association.

The Save Our Parks Records, 1955 (1958-1959, 1961)-1968, were given as an unrestricted gift to University Archives and Records by Gerhard Herz, professor of music history, University of Louisville. Herz was an active member of the organization and served as secretary at the time of its demise. The records, which occupy 4.00 linear feet, were not in any discernible order when accessioned and have been arranged by record type.


  • 1955-1968


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the University of Louisville and there are no additional restrictions.


4 linear feet

Organizational history

The Save Our Parks (S.O.P.) Records document a Louisville, Kentucky citizens-committee who campaigned against the routing of Interstate 64 through the city's Cherokee and Seneca parks. During the organization's most active years it boasted of more than 30,000 supporters. Most of the records in this group date from 1958 and 1959, although in 1961, activities of the organization were bolstered to focus on a state highway department public hearing concerning the routing of the proposed expressway. Despite their efforts, this section of the interstate highway was routed through the park area and opened in 1970.

Early in 1958 a committee of Louisville citizens began an organized protest against the Kentucky State Highway Commission's proposed route of Interstate 64 through Louisville's Cherokee and Seneca parks. This protest, known as the Save Our Parks Campaign, took the form of letters to public officials and to the readers' columns of the Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. Letters to the editors of these newspapers which were photocopied and arranged by members of S.O.P. remain intact under the title of "Letters to the Editor, The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times, 1958." This collection probably was display material and is a cohesive record unit depicting one aspect of S.O.P. protest activity.


Save Our Parks Records
Archives Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752