St. Matthews Community Center Gets $2.5 Million Makeover and Name Change

The building previously known as the St. Matthews Community Center is now officially named The Arterburn.

This event facility is a hidden gem that sits among 45.8 acres encompassing St. Matthews Community Park, located across from Mall St. Matthews, at 310 Ten Pin Lane. This little-known facility has undergone some massive changes during its $2.5 million renovation.


Why the Arterburn name? Arterburn originates from the family whose members, Shelton B. Arterburn and C. Bernard Arterburn, the executor of the will and trust of the estate of Covington Arterburn, sold the Community Park property that the current Arterburn building stands upon, to the City of St. Matthews on December 23, 1980. The deed refers to the real estate as “commonly known as Arterburn Park.”

“When the city was in the process of renovating the building, St. Matthews City Council member Mary Jo Nay found, in city records, that the facility was decreed by the city council, on February 26, 1981, to be known as Arterburn Hall,” said St. Matthews City Councilmember Tim Holland. “Council member Nay recommended we honor that historic 1981 decision and reinstate the name to once again honor the Arterburn family. The name won’t get lost this time.”

While researching the basis of the action taken by the city council in 1981, it was discovered that the Arterburn family had deep roots in the St. Matthews community.

William Arterburn Sr. of Charles County, Maryland, and his wife, Rachel Smoots Arterburn, born in Shenandoah County, Virginia, came to Jefferson County circa 1880. Together they made the trip by flatboat to the mouth of Goose Creek, then overland to Beargrass Creek, and settled in what would be St. Matthews years later, before Kentucky was a state. They settled in a log cabin by what is now Oxmoor Farm, where they acquired substantial acreage in the area, and together raised nine sons.

In 1872, William and Rachel’s son, Norbourne Arterburn, became one of the richest men in Kentucky. He and his brothers, Covington and William Crawford Arterburn, held tremendous farm holdings on both sides of Shelbyville Road.

Another son, Shelton Bernard Arterburn, was born in 1890 and grew up on the family farm, known as Beechwood Gate Farm, located in what is now Beechwood Village. As a young boy, Shelton was the last Arterburn to work on the family farm. He attended the old Greathouse School, while hauling potatoes to the produce market by horse and wagon for a nickel a barrel. In 1903 the preacher from Beargrass Church came to talk to the young Arterburn while working in the fields. Shelton decided to join the church, and at the time of his death he was the longest-living member of the church.

From Greathouse he attended Louisville Male High School, where he was within three months of finishing when typhoid fever struck. He continued to farm for a while, then went to work for Peaslee-Gaulbert, one of the largest paint manufacturers in the country, for $5 per week.

Then in 1912 he joined Sutcliffe’s, a sporting goods company, to promote tennis. Shelton was the Kentucky state singles tennis champion and Falls City singles champion four times, as well as the Kentucky state doubles champion five times and the Falls City doubles champion three times. Two years after his death he was inducted into the Kentucky Tennis Hall of Fame.

In 1955, upon retiring from Sutcliffe’s as vice president, Shelton agreed to lease a part of the farm to then-Mayor James Noland of St. Matthews. Twelve years later, in 1967, Shelton agreed, with then-St. Matthews Mayor Bernard F. Bowling, Sr., to grant St. Matthews an option to purchase what is now St. Matthews Community Park. The rest is history!

In addition to a new name, The Arterburn’s $2.5 million renovation gave the facility much-needed upgrades. Currently the city is implementing a facelift to The Arterburn’s facade to enhance the building’s signature look.

The Arterburn now features new flooring, new mechanicals and audio-visual equipment, a bridal room to accommodate bridal-party needs, and a professional kitchen that allows for event catering. There is also an enclosed patio that includes a grass area and sun shade sail for events such as on-site ceremonies, allowing more outdoor space to be utilized as weather permits. A variety of spaces within the facility are offered to accommodate events of most any size, while renters also have the option to reserve the entire hall, which allows for a capacity of 250 people.

“It’s a great asset for the community and we want people to know that it’s here and available to them,” said Holland, who serves as chair for the council’s rental committee. “An added benefit to St. Matthews residents who choose to reserve The Arterburn is a 10% discount on the rental fee. Current reservations at the facility include retirement and birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings, celebrations of life, corporate events, club meetings and such. Rental periods vary from eight to 12 hours and alcohol is allowed to be served. Weekends are the busiest, however reservations are available for weekdays too.”

The Arterburn 310 Ten Pin Lane Louisville, KY

More info including the venue’s availability calendar, contract and rates, along with a virtual tour, is available at Also call 502-895-9444.

Historical facts obtained from “St. Matthews: The Crossroad of Beargrass” by Samuel W. Thomas, and the Arterburn family.

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