(Jennifer Chappell)
Flowers adorn the door of Goldberg's store. (Jennifer Chappell)
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin to Pinterest
Share on StumbleUpon
+
Julian Goldberg. (Courtesy Herman Meyer & Son Funeral Home)
Julian Goldberg. (Courtesy Herman Meyer & Son Funeral Home)

Louisville is a little less weird now that Julian Goldberg is gone. Known locally as “Geeber,” Goldberg passed away last Wednesday after an illness. He was 85. Goldberg is best known for operating the G & K Shoe Company Wholesale Footwear & Government Surplus store at 639 West Main Street. That institution has stood watch over a changing Main Street since 1937, and every bit of the building would lead you to believe so, from the old signs painted on its cast-iron facade, to a maze of surplus goods that only Goldberg could navigate, to the mildewy air that filled the ancient structure. Goldberg inherited the building from his father, Sam.

(Courtesy BBC World Service / Flickr)
(Courtesy BBC World Service / Flickr)

Goldberg’s surplus store was instantly recognizable to anyone walking along West Main Street and a point of delight for me as he taped humorous signs to the storefront windows, claiming everything from “Dummy Grenades: If we are wrong bring back for full refund” to “This is my watchdog. Her name is Timex—I bought her second hand—she drinks quartz of water daily.” His dog was a common sight sitting in the window.

Goldberg attended duPont Manual High School before going on to study at Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan. His store has been shared by the likes of the BBC and he has been quoted in the New York Times on international economics.

Julian Goldberg died on July 22, 2015 after an illness. His funeral took place over the weekend and he is buried in Adath Jeshurun Cemetery on Preston Highway just south of Eastern Parkway. He is survived by two children children, three grandchildren, and his sister. Goldberg was born August 28, 1929 to Bess and Sam Goldberg.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin to Pinterest
Share on StumbleUpon
+

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

5 COMMENTS

  1. A quirky interesting man I always liked to talk to …….. A really amazing history that I hope somebody will articulate in this building in the future .
    Rest well Mr Goldberg. We will miss your brand of pedestrian experience like no other. Some history doesn’t repeat itself .

Leave a Reply