The Columbia Building

The Columbia Building (HM1YWM)

Location: Louisville, KY 40202 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 15.411', W 85° 45.438'

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—Bourbon District Historic Site 401 west —

For a decade after it was completed in 1890, the Columbia Building anchored the northwest corner of Fourth and Main Streets and was the tallest building in the city, matching the height of the world's tallest skyscraper, the Chicago Home Insurance Building.
The Columbia Building was demolished in 1966 as part of the city s downtown revitalization plan, the very reason the building had been built 76 years earlier. It is commemorated by one of its red sandstone foundation blocks. Look for it in the small fenced green area at the corner of Fourth and Main.
The Columbia was a handsome Romanesque-style building. Rounded arch windows punctuated the walls of pressed red brick set atop a foundation of red sandstone. Construction cost was $1 million, a staggering sum at the time, but was deemed a good investment to lure more business and modernize downtown.
In 1966, the building was demolished and 6 years later, the current BB&T Building was built by Louisville downtown redevelopment plan.
Martin Schmidt Notebooks, Archives & Special Collections, University of Louisville
( back )
Centered on the already busy Whiskey Row, the Columbia Building, originally known as the Commercial Club Building, had its share of bourbon-related tenants during the Golden Age of bourbon. Distillers,
stave manufacturers, grain companies, and whiskey brokers conducted daily business alongside lawyers, engineers, architects, and other professionals at the 401 West Main address. Among the distiller tenants was the Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Company, who purchased over forty distilleries in the wake of the price and production controls of the infamous Whiskey Trust scandal in the 1880s.
Mattingly & Moore Distillery Co. was a tenant in the Columbia Building.
The J.B. Wathen & Brothers Distillery, located at 26th & Broadway in Louisville, was one of the many distilleries bought by Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Company.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, June 15th, 2017 at 1:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 608726 N 4235043
Decimal Degrees38.25685000, -85.75730000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 15.411', W 85° 45.438'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 15' 24.66" N, 85° 45' 26.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)502
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401-453 US-31W, Louisville KY 40202, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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