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    We have a lot of history in Louisville, and we walk by it every day. From the shotgun houses that fill our streets, to the historic stretch of downtown Main Street, this city is covered in some amazing historical sites. Luckily for us a lot of those old buildings are still in use, and many have been preserved in a state relatively close to their original facades and purposes.

    If you’ve ever wondered what some of the places you visit looked like decades ago, the University of Louisville can grant your wish. Their digital archives have preserved thousands of photographs from as far back as the early 1900’s, and


    has an amazing geographical pinning system that allows you to see

    right where these historic Louisville pictures were taken

    . I’ve been pouring through the photographs on HistoryPin and

    UofL’s digital collections

    for months, and I’ve picked out a few spots I liked. Here’s some of Louisville, both yesterday and today.

    1 - The opening of the George Roger’s Clark Bridge

    The title photo of this article is from January 1st, 1929 - the day the bridge first opened. Unfortunately the traffic was heavy and the sidewalk closed, so I wasn’t able to duplicate the shot.

    2 - Second and Main

    You might know the Whiskey Street Lofts, or at the very least Bearno’s, located right in their basement. This historic sight is also home to the

    Troll Pub Under The Bridge

    , a theater and several other businesses. In 1913, it was the Henderson and St. Louis Railway Company building.

    3 - Knadler and Lucas

    Chances are good you don’t know what they did at this building on Spring Street off of Frankfort back in the day, as it’s now a seed and feed warehouse. In the 1940s, however, Knadler and Lucas were a condiment manufacturer.

    4 -  Truck Co 6, Engine Co 4

    This fire station sits on Frankfort Avenue, and has been in service since 1908. Now Engine Company 4, it had a different designation in 1927 - Engine Company 21.

    5 - Bardstown and Bonnycastle

    This is Bardstown Road, standing at the end of Bonnycastle and facing East. While many of the building fronts have stayed the same over the years (note the windows in the upper right of the picture) much has changed. No more streetcar, and no more Walgreens. Though quite honestly I think Walgreens is doing okay despite closing their Bardstown Road location.

    6 - Hickory and Ash Streets, Germantown

    Right in the heart of Germantown, just off of Mo’s is the intersection of these two streets. You can see the typical Germantown landmarks - shotguns, shotguns, shotguns. Interestingly, the same houses are still standing, but my how those trees have grown since 1925.


    Have any spots that you’d like to see a flashback of? You can check out the UofL archives at the links above, or just wait for another round of historical photos. With so many out there and so much to see, I’m sure I’ll do another round.

    All historical photos courtesy of University of Louisville Digital Collections

    Brandon Vigliarolo's picture

    About Brandon Vigliarolo

    Brandon is a Michigan transplant, and has been working as a freelance writer since he arrived. He lives with his Girlfriend Hannah, Pico and Marionette the cats, and Marley the awkward greyhound.

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