6 Images from Lexington's Past (and 3,848 more!)

Cadets Parading along Main Street in 1914. Looking east from Main and Broadway, the buildings depicted
are the site of the present-day Triangle Center. UK Libraries.
One can easily get lost in the archives of a library's special collections department, especially those of us who are self-professed "history geeks" or, more nicely put, have "history in our genes." No matter how you want to label the history junkie, we are a breed that loves discovering new things from our past.

So when a library unveils a 'new' digital collection of dry plate, silver nitrate glass negatives dating mostly from ca. 1898-1918, we get a little excited. It takes awhile to sift through the new 3,854 items added to the University of Kentucky's Special Collections, and I'm not near finished.

But there are some real gems in this glass negative collection that show special moments in the history of both the University of Kentucky and of Lexington. You can explore the entire collection by clicking here. A few gems I found follow.

Lost Lexington Promotion to Save Peoples Bank


Earlier this week, I took you inside Peoples Bank! This beautiful structure can be preserved - with your help!

We just can't let this incredible piece of googie architecture become part of 'Lost Lexington'.

So here's what I'm proposing: ORDER a copy of LOST LEXINGTON by clicking here and I'll donate 20% of the sale price (that's $4.00 per book!) toward the preservation fund! I'll keep this offer open now through the end of the month!

This offer is only good for those who can pick up the book locally, but if you really need it shipped then contact me about it!

Or, if Lost Lexington isn't your fancy, you can donate directly to the the preservation of the Peoples Bank by clicking here!

A Review of Kentucky Maverick: The Life and Adventures of Colonel George M. Chinn

Published posthumously by the late Professor Carlton Jackson of Western Kentucky University, this biography of Colonel George M. Chinn is a must-read for those who appreciate Kentucky history. Chinn was active in so many aspects of 20th century Kentucky and, though he is a figure often overlooked by many, is worthy of honor and recognition.

Colonel M. Chinn was described as a Renaissance man which is an accolade that always piques my interest. As put in the book, Chinn had "'multiples lives,' and ... excelled in all of them: football player (baseball, too, when called upon), coach, tour guide, restauranteur (in his cave), government sergeant at arms, civil rights leader (except the time he rejected the collection of black newspapers, bodyguard, military man, weapons expert, librarian, author, director and deputy director, [Kentucky Historical Society, head of military museum in Frankfort, raconteur, and, overall 'good old boy.'"

Yes, Colonel Chinn (a military rank, though he no doubt also was a member of the Honorable Order as well) was both a Renaissance man and a maverick. His story, as told by Jackson, is an informative tale of Kentucky's history during the 20th century and an even more informative tale of how that history is told.

Inside Peoples Bank


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And it's true. I recently had the opportunity - along with others wanting to support the worthy cause of preserving and relocating the Peoples Bank now located on South Broadway in Lexington - to explore the innards of this mid-century ca. 1961 Charles Bayless-designed commercial structure. So here are a few picture collages from my trip inside the Peoples Bank!

Each exposed piece of vintage wallpaper was reminiscent of Mad Men while you could just image those gathered in the bank lobby on modern furniture around a retro fireplace.

The space is incredible and I hope that its preservation is a success. All signs of late are positive, but your help is still needed. The Warwick Foundation (which is spearheading the fundraising efforts, with the help of some other incredible organizations and individuals, for preservation/relocation) has set up a web portal where you can do just that ... donate toward the final goal!
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