Ali Art and Landmarks
Louisville’s celebration of Muhammad Ali and his legacy can be found in landmarks and art throughout the city. From murals and sculptures to city landmarks, Ali’s memory is preserved as an inspiration for generations to come.
What: Muhammad Ali’s Hometown Hero banner
Note: The banner, located on a Louisville Gas & Electric building, is a part of the Hometown Hero program, which honors a diverse group of famous Louisvillians from a variety of professions — all of whom have inspired others and represented Louisville to the rest of the world. The giant vinyl banners, some stretching as high as 60 feet, are found on buildings throughout Louisville. Other notable Louisvillians who have Hometown Hero banners include actress Jennifer Lawrence, journalist Diane Sawyer, jockey Pat Day, football player Phil Simms, and sculptor Ed Hamilton.
For more information: louheroes.org
Where: 114 N Sixth Street
Note: Constructed high on the exterior of the Muhammad Ali Center are two images (one on each side of the building) created in pieces to depict Ali’s face and his boxing stance. The images can be best viewed while driving by on I-64.
For more information: alicenter.org
What: Murals of Ali
Note: The mural on Bardstown Road also depicts other cornerstones of Louisville and Kentucky history including Colonel Sanders, President Abraham Lincoln, and Secretariat, the 1973 Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winner. The one on Broadway depicts the famous photograph of Ali after just knocking out Sonny Liston. The one on Breckinridge is another boxing image.
What: Smoketown Monument
Note: This 12-foot stainless steel sculpture of two boxing gloves overlapping to form a heart was commissioned by the city in 1991 to honor the spirit of the Smoketown neighborhood and its historic link to boxing, and the start of Muhammad Ali’s career. The sculpture was created by Louisville artists Ed Hamilton and the late Zephra May-Miller.
What: Muhammad Ali Boulevard
Where: Muhammad Ali Blvd from East Chestnut Street to Southwestern Parkway
Note: To honor the achievements of Muhammad Ali, the city in 1978 renamed Walnut Street to Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Today, Muhammad Ali Boulevard runs nearly five miles from East Chestnut Street, through downtown Louisville, crossing through the historic west Louisville neighborhoods of Russell and Shawnee, to Southwestern Parkway.
What: Gravesite, Muhammad Ali’s parents
Where: Green Meadows Cemetery, 3800 Shanks Lane.
Note: Ali’s mother, Odessa Grady Clay, died of heart failure on Aug. 20, 1994, and his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr., died on Feb. 8, 1990, after suffering a heart attack.
Where: Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 1057 S. 28th Street
Note: Muhammad Ali’s father, Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr., and brother, Rahaman Ali were sign painters and artists. Samples can be seen in this west Louisville church.
For more information: www.ebenezermissionarybaptist.com
What: Muhammad Ali Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame photo and description
Note: Muhammad Ali was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, and his photo and a short description is displayed on the KFC Yum! Center’s concourse, with all other Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. The Yum! Center will also be the site of Ali's public memorial service.
What: Muhammad Ali Suite at the Brown Hotel
Where: 335 West Broadway
Note: Available for rental as a one- or two-bedroom suite, this luxury room at the historic Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville was dedicated in 2001 by “The Greatest” himself. The gold and black decorated suite in the 1920’s era hotel showcases signed Ali memorabilia, photos and boxing gloves. More information at www.brownhotel.com