Simmons Photograph Collection


Simmons Photograph Collection


These images are from a collection of photos donated to the Filson that in part document areas of Louisville razed by urban renewal. They focus on the area on the western side of downtown near the primary African American business district along Walnut Street (now Muhammad Ali Blvd.).The photographer is unidentified but apparently lived at 734 Dixie Highway. The listed owner at that residence during the time these photos are dated (1946-1959) was Gertrude Simmons. She was a senior citizen and it is doubtful that she was the photographer. It is likely that we’ll never know who took the photos, but because they did, these images of a “lost” Louisville were preserved.

See the entire photo collection on Past Perfect Online:




Filson Photograph Collection




These images are issued by The Filson Historical Society. Property rights in the collection belong to The Filson Historical Society. The user is responsible for copyright issues. Permission for use of this image for ANY reason should be obtained by contacting Filson's Curator of Collections via




Still images

Collection Items

View Looking East from 9th & Madison, 1948
Looking east from 9th and Madison Streets, 1948. Madison Street no longer exists is this area.

Building Being Demolished on 6th and Grayson, 1959
Building at 6th and Grayson Streets shortly before demolition, 1959.

Mansion from Alley on Chestnut Between 6th & 7th, n.d.
Rear view of a mansion on Chestnut Street between 6th and 7th Streets, undated. This might be a rear view of the Huston Apartments at 620 W. Chestnut.

Mansion Demolished on Chestnut Between 7th & 8th, 1957
Chestnut Street mansion between 7th and 8th Streets shortly before being demolished, 1957.

Rear View of South Side of Walnut St Between 6th and 7th, ca. 1950
Rear view of buildings on the south side of Walnut Street between 6th and 7th Streets, ca. 1950.

Rear View Mansion on Gray St being Demolished, 1959
Old mansion on Gray Street being demolished, 1959. Once lined by fine mansions, medical facilities, light industry, and surface parking now dominate the area. Only a few houses remain today.

Rear of East Side 7th between Magazine and Broadway, 1951
Another view of the rear of row houses on the east side of 7th north of Broadway, 1951.

Rear of 7th St between Broadway and Magazine, 1951
Rear view of row houses on the east side of 7th Street north of Broadway, 1951.

East Side of 7th Between Magazine and Broadway, 1951
Closer view of the antebellum date row houses on the east side of 7th Street north of Broadway, 1951. They were razed by the late 1950s.
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