Today, the southeast corner of Sixth and Main streets is a surface level parking lot, but at one time, it was the grand Hamilton Bank Building (also known as the Hamilton Block). The Renaissance Revival structure dates to the mid 1860s and was designed by Frank W. Vogdes.
A number of tenants were housed in the structure including the National Bank of Louisville, Northern Bank, Union National Bank, and later the State Board of Health. According to the Encyclopedia of Louisville, the National Bank of Louisville was chartered in 1863 and was the oldest national bank south of the Ohio River.
According to Sam Thomas’ The Architectural History of Louisville, Vogdes differentiated the horizontal divisions of the structure by implementing an inset entrance with dual columns and narrow windows. The historic photo below was taken in 1926.
The structure represents an early example of design emphasis on the basement level entrance. According to a city directory in 1926, the lower level was occupied by a cigar and candy shop.
If you look closely, you can still see a sliver of the Hamilton Block on Main Street on the party wall next to Los Aztecas restaurant. It’s the rusticated stone piece on what would have been the building’s first floor. Anyone know when the structure was demolished?
You might also find our recent comparison of the view north from this location interesting.