June 08, 2016


Steve Siler is a song writer, and founder and director of Music for the Soul, a non-profit music ministry. He is writing this column on behalf of Downtown Frankfort, Inc., a Kentucky Main Street program.

A Home Downtown

Young Family Loves Living on Broadway.

“If I had known how cool downtown was I would have moved down here a lot sooner.”  So says, Elle Travis, a resident of downtown Frankfort.

We met recently at The Coffeetree Cafe near her Broadway apartment and in no time Travis was busy listing all of the things she loves about living downtown.

“The people. That’s huge! There is such a great sense of community with the business owners, people riding their bikes, walking their dogs, and the sidewalk wining and dining.” 

Travis, who works downtown, also loves being able to walk everywhere. “I don’t need to drive a car. My commute is thirty seconds. You can’t beat it!” 

Though her husband Pete still has his car the couple has one less vehicle now. “Think about the footprint I’m not leaving. I’m not kicking up much dust with my stroller,” jokes the mother of one. “My favorite thing is taking walks every evening with my son.”

“You can walk for miles. There are so many good places to walk,” she says.

At lunchtime it isn’t necessary to walk for miles. “There are nine different dining options within easy walking distance.”

She even walks to get most of her groceries. “I walk to the Farmer’s Market every Saturday. They also set up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “I love having fresh ingredients.”

Travis found the apartment on the Downtown Frankfort Inc. website.  “We weren’t really even looking at the time,” she says, but once they saw the two-level residence over a business they made the decision in just a few days.

One of the things people ask Travis is whether it bothers her not having a yard. “I miss not being able to have my own garden but there’s a community garden nearby in South Frankfort where you can use a plot.”

As for not having a yard, it’s no problem. “My yard is the old Capital lawn. Only people who live on a farm have a bigger yard than that!”

Living on Broadway some people might wonder if the train bothers the Travis family. “I have a love/love relationship with the train,” she says. “My son runs to the window as soon as he hears the whistle and stands there and watches until it’s gone. He waves and says bye-bye.” 

I wondered about the noise. “It’s loud,” admits Travis, “but I no longer hear it. And it has never awakened the baby even once.”

Not only does Travis work downtown, she also attends church at First Christian Church on Ann Street where she serves as the director of the children’s program. 

“The lady that came to show me the apartment had just had two of her children go through the music camp at the church.”

Serendipity like that seems to be part of the connectedness of the downtown living experience.

Travis, who works at Completely Kentucky, a shop displaying the works of area artisans, seems to know many of the local merchants by name. She has even done work for some of them, helping to create brochures using her photography and design skills. 

During art walk she pulls out a map available at the store and makes sure to mark all of the places visitors need to see, even drawing out the route so they don’t miss any of the gems tucked away on the side streets.

Travis is passionate about living downtown and sees it as a kind of investment she is making in the community. She hopes to be able to remain in the downtown area. “If you love Frankfort you have to invest in it for the future.”

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