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The Columbia Building

Begun in 1888, and opened on January 1, 1890, Louisville's first skyscraper and once the "tallest building in the Western Hemisphere south of the Ohio River," came down in late1966 to make way for the new Galt House Hotel, Louisville Trust Bank and Belvedere complex. This eyesore nearly didn't get torn down at all, until several banks and a local developer came to the rescue with the additional funding the city required..

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The Columbia Building


Louisville After the Bombings?



The Thumbnail Images


The Old Post Office
Demolition 1942-3

The Post Office in the 1920s
The demolished interior
The interior about 1900
Lincoln Park
Site of River City Mall-(4th Street, 1920s)

The 2nd Presbyterian Church
In ruins, 1956

2nd and Broadway
St. X College

The James C Ford Mansion
The Ford Mansion in winter

Inside the Ford Mansion
An Empty Lot


The Warren Memorial Church
Demolition, 1958
The Warren Memorial in 1923
Norton Hall
The Bus Station

The National Theater
In ruins, 1952
In better days
Show Time


The Masonic Temple
In ruins, 1956

The Rialto
Demolition, 1969

The Rialto during the 1920s

The Columbia Building
Demolition 1966

Columbia Building ca. 1900
Columbia Building ca. 1920


The Washington Building
Demolition 1973
In 1907
Cornice Detail

Clear-cutting the city
Wholesale demolition, 1974
The Tyler Block, 1974
Tyler Block, 1931
A Foreign City
Convention Center



After nearly complete destruction in February 1945 at the end of World War II, see what
be done to rebuild a historic city center. 
Click here to see absolutely amazing photos of the ongoing reconstruction of Dresden

(...reconstruction begun in 2002, and what has Louisville done in that time??)

Dresden 1980s                <<nearly same view>>               Dresden 2000s

(By the way, although begun as a public project to restore a world heritage site,
the reconstruction of Dresden has now gotten far enough along that the real estate values have skyrocketed.
Remaining un-reconstructed parcels are going for around $6000 per square yard just for the right to rebuild
historically faithful reproductions of former buildings ...including a palace...on the site.  check this out)


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Old Louisville National Historic District

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