Ormsby Village

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Ormsby Village
Established 1854
Opened 1920 (second location)
Closed 1975
Demolished 1994
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Lyndon, Ky
Alternate Names
  • Louisville and Jefferson County Children's Home


The new Louisville and Jefferson County Children's Home that was to take the place of the House of Refuge/School of Industrial Reform opened in 1920 and was located on a 400 acre tract bounded by LaGrange Rd, Whipps Mill Rd. and Dorsey Lane. Reformers favored locating child care facilities away from the cities and the new interurban electric rail lines made the use of a rural site practical. The facility was to be run by a bipartisan Board of Managers appointed by the mayor and county judge.

The residential campus for white children was called Ormsby Village, and the campus for blacks was called Ridgewood and had a separate entrance off of Dorsey. The home put into practice some of the most advanced ideas in juvenile care to be found anywhere in the United States. The campus contained an administration building, central dining hall and kitchen, a service building, a school and a hospital. There were 14 cottages that could hold 40 children each. There were athletic fields, a swimming pool, poultry yards and a dairy. The historic house on the property, Bellevoir, became the residence of the superintendent.

The majority of the children were dependents whose parents could no longer care for them. Children who committed mild form of delinquency were also admitted. The home housed over 400 children at the height of its operation in the 1930s to the early 1950s. Occupancy became less and less and in the early 1960s the school was closed. In 1968 the Board of Managers was dissolved and the control of the facility was handed over to the Metro Social Services Department. The Ridgewood buildings were leased to the state and renamed Lynnwood. The facilities were closed in 1975.

During the 1980s the property was used for a community gardens and then the Kentucky Railway Museum. In 1987 the county sold most of the land which would be developed as Hurstbourne Green. All of the Ormsby Village and Ridgewood buildings were demolished except for Bellevoir. [1]