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The Gaffney House resurrected into a luxury rental property

Take a look inside the renovation.

LOUtoday_Gaffney House

The first floor common area boasts a restored sailing ship motif, vaulted ceilings, and over 10 kinds of tile.

Photo by Jeremy Blum

For over 40 years the historic Gaffney House on River Road sat empty, deteriorating, and vulnerable to illegal parties, according to some locals.

But in 2020, area resident Dr. Galen Weiss purchased the early 20th century home built by prominent Louisville architect James J. Gaffney. With the help of WorK Architecture + Design and Wilkinson Builders Inc., they resurrected the landmark into a short-term rental property for events and overnight stays, which will cost renters about $1,200 per night.

“There were old photos the previous owners had given Galen, so he hired artists and architects to come in and restore it as true to the original as possible,” said the Gaffney House property manager Ellen Archer.

The house is unique because its design is essentially a collection of Gaffney’s architectural career. “With Gaffney it was almost like he was finishing jobs and taking leftover pieces from the places he was working on and putting them into his house,” Archer said.

Fun fact: One of Gaffney’s biggest claims to architectural fame was the design of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

From delicate cathedral ceilings in one room to intricate crown molding that features a dog chasing a badger in another, the Gaffney House is a maximalist display of design.

The house is split across two stories. Each floor has its own kitchen, a set of suites with king-sized beds + private bathrooms, and outdoor porches with sweeping views of the Ohio River.

The first floor features The Gaffney Room + The Bourbon Room, as well as a living room and formal dining area. The floor below has The Derby Room and The Col. Sanders Room, along with another sitting room with a curved white sofa.

Outside the house, there is a boat dock for guests, a patio with a vine wall, and eventually the retaining wall will boast a mural by a local artist.

The Gaffney House can be booked through Luxury Rentals Louisville, which also has concierge services if anyone is thinking about hosting a party or wedding.

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