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Highland Avenue

This house was designed by J.J. Gaffney in 1898. "Spires rise on either side of a grossly embellished fractable. Wide use of sandstone, terra cotta and stained glass add to the plasticity of the structure." (NRHP -- Highlands Historic District)


"James J. Gaffney (b. Louisville, June 18, 1863; d. Louisville, November 30, 1946). Gaffney was born to Michael and Anna (McMullen) Gaffney, Irish Catholic refugees from the potato famine of 1845-47, and grew up in what is now the Phoenix Hill area. There is no evidence of Gaffney receiving any formal training as an architect, and he is known to have attended only one year of school, probably in order to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. In 1881 Gaffney took a job as a draftsman with architect Charles Julian Clarke, where he learned the skills that would later earn him his fame. His widely diverse commissions included ecclesiastical, institutional, residential and commercial buildings. His individual style built upon a variety of influences, ranging from Victorian to Byzantine to Arts and Crafts. Some of his more notable structures included St. James Catholic Church and Adath Jeshurun synagogue, Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium, the Besten and Belvoir Apartments, and the J.D. Taggart mansion. Gaffney contributed greatly to the architecture of Louisville, breaking the conventional barriers of his time period with his unusual stylistic combinations.

A quiet man, Gaffney was deeply committed to his family. In 1892, he married Ella Gross, and in 1895 she gave birth to two sons, Thomas James and James Louis; both died of dysentery in 1896. Gaffney was buried in the family plot at St. Louis Cemetery." (The Louisville Encyclopedia)


Gaffney also designed the Morrissey Parking Garage (a.k.a. Bosler's Fireproof Garage)


The house that he designed for himself sits on River Road.


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Taken on December 13, 2009