cc.jpg (9747 bytes)The Commonwealth
Convention Center

Seen at its most inviting corner, the convention center was a fine example of the architecture of the 1970s.  Even in bright sunlight the building was cold and forbidding.  Three fourths of the building had no windows or doors, much less shops or other people friendly street level elements.   Except at the Fourth Street entrances, it looked much like a mausoleum, which may   ironically be symbolically fitting, considering the history of the site.

Because of the recent criticisms, the "old" convention center has gotten a complete facelift along with an expansion which added an additional city block of facilities.  True to form, the city has razed the adjacent block piece-meal over the past few years in anticipation of the new construction.  While the new complex seems to be taking on a bit more cheerful character, it still does not have the quality or aesthetic appeal, or the "downtown character," of  the buildings it replaced.  It may still be too early to say if  there will be enough street-level interest for a pedestrian to stroll around its two full city blocks.

There is, however, some hope that the impressively large facility, along with other downtown projects, by drawing more conventioneers to Louisville, may help stimulate the downtown commercial revitalization the city so desperately needs.


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)


Old Louisville Guide Home Page
Old Louisville National Historic District

Home, Newsletter, News/Press Releases, Old Louisville Business Directory, History, Historic Pictures, Vintage Post Card Views,  Spring, Autumn, TerraServer Images, Maps, Calendar of Events, Walking Tours, Architectural Styles, Architect's Corner, St James Court, Belgravia Court, St. James Art ShowMuseums, Libraries, Literature, Churches, Bed and Breakfast Inns, Restaurants-Taverns, Recipes, Visitors' Page, Resources, Old Louisville Places, Our Lost Landmarks, Old Louisville, the Way it Was, Louisville Links, Feedback

Search WWW Search

(there are now over 1300 web pages on
Click here for a comprehensive search of all 2800+ web pages on this server