Louisville’s new Grady Hotel opens in historic downtown building

SEAN BAUTE | WAVE 3 News

Downtown Louisville home to a new hotel. The Grady Hotel opened officially Thursday, housed in a nearly 140-year-old building at 601 W. Main Street.

The building has transformed a lot over the years. Over the past century it’s been home to an apothecary, started in 1883 by pharmacist J.B. Wilder, and it’s also been home to Swann Hats. In fact, that’s where the name of the hotel bar, Wild Swann, comes from.

The Grady is a 51-room personal luxury hotel located at 6th and Main Streets in downtown Louisville. It’s in a building dating back to 1883.

The name behind 51-room hotel is also special. Named after the late Grady Clay, the well-known Louisville journalist and urbanist, the hotel tried to make something he’d be proud of.

“It’s an old building, and it’s downtown,” said Clay’s widow, Judith McCandless, “two of his favorite things right there.”

McCandless and Clay’s oldest son, Peter, said he would be proud of this building. Clay, who died in 2013, was known for his urban designs, many of which kept the spirit of the original construction.

A ribbon cutting ceremony to open The Grady, a 51-room personal luxury hotel in downtown Louisville, was held May 20, 2021.

The Grady has added some new touches, but a lot of the old building stayed the same.

“He loved downtown Louisville, and he worried about losing buildings,” said McCandless, “so, when you get something this fabulous put in place, it’s a blessing.”

The Grady Hotel sits in Downtown Louisville on the corner of 6th Street and W. Main Street.

The hotel, which has already started bringing in guests, hopes to serve as an economic driver for downtown Louisville.