JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Kentucky Akimbo: 1940

Kentucky Akimbo: 1940

May 1940. "Street in Louisville, Kentucky." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Angle of Interest

The angle chosen by photographer adds a dramatic perspective to this amazing scene.
Today the area looks like a bomb shattered war zone.


Natives pronounce it "Lou-vull."

The Kentucky Hotel

Built at Fifth & West Walnut in 1925, 18 stories, converted to apartments in 1972.

Always something new on Shorpy

A sore neck from looking closely at a photo.


I gotta admit ... my neck hurts looking at this pic.

I pronounce it: Frankfort

Notcom and SteveLexington have already identified the location of the 1940 photograph and described the present landscape. Below is a Google Earth photo to support their descriptions. The only thing I can add is the building from where Marion Post Wolcott probably took this photo is still standing.

All that's left for me is to tell a joke. Do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky Louieville or Lewisville?

Three years earlier

In this shot of Louisville's West Side during the Ohio River flood of January 1937, the location of Post Wolcott's photo is at the top, just to the right of the curve in the river. Contemporary flood maps indicate that this location escaped the worst of it, but not entirely and not by far. My father's oldest sister remembered traversing streets by walking across stranded cars.

Trolleybus sighting

Louisville's trolleybus system was relatively short-lived, 1936-1951, so we don't often see photos of it. The bus is part of the original fleet of Brill-built coaches, and the Grand Theatre on Walnut Street (now Muhammad Ali Boulevard) identifies the location. The large building to the right is the Louisville Gardens arena, still standing but dormant.

Black and White in Louisville

... as much as the other way around: this is the 500 block (and onward) of West Walnut -- now Muhammed Ali Boulevard -- when the Grand Theater was a "movie theater for Negroes." The auditorium in the foreground is still there, but the theater, and most everything else, is now a parking lot. But presumably available to all.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2022 Shorpy Inc.