Whether known as the Montgomery Street School, the Emma Dolfinger School, the Portland Christian School, or simply "The Dolfinger," this building has played central parts in the Portland neighborhood and broader Kentucky history. For more than 160 years, the structure has housed organizations dedicated to improving and sheltering Kentuckians. As the Montgomery Street School, it saw the instruction of antebellum students and functioned as an overflow hopsital during the violence of the Civil War.
When the building was renamed in 1929, it honored Emma Dolfinger, a woman of varied interests and accomplishments. She was a gifted biologist and educator who served as the head of her department at the Louisville Girls' School and supervised science instruction throughout the city. Dolfinger published several works on public health and educational pedagogy. She was also a prominent suffragist and advocate for women's rights.
In 1975, the Dolfinger School closed and the building was reopened as the Portland Christian School. For more than a generation, it operated in that capacity before it was shuttered in 2008. Since then, it was purchased by the Portland Investment Initiative, rechristened as the Dolfinger, and welcomed in a variety of non-profit organizations, businesses and artists.
The marker reads:
Montgomery Street School
Built in 1853, the Montgomery Street School was an educational institution for 155 years. Designed in classic Renaissance Revival style, it is a significant example of a mid-19th century educational facility. During the Civil War, it likely served as a hospital for wounded soldiers after the Battle of Perryville. Over.
In 1929, this landmark building was renamed the Emma Dolfinger School after the noted biologist, children's health advocate, and Louisville native. It became the Portland Christian School in 1977, until it closed in 2008. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Sponsored by Portland Investment Initiative
Dedicated on September 9, 2017.