Levy Bros. (Louisville, Ky.) Building Records, 1888-1914

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Levy Bros. (Louisville, Ky.)

Title:  Building records, 1888-1914

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection:  0.33 cubic feet

Location Number:  Mss. BB L668

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of seven folders of materials related to the construction and maintenance of the Levy Brothers building on West Market St. in Louisville, Ky. The collection documents the acquisition of the land on which the building stands, as well as work done to the building through 1914. The collection contains correspondence, deeds, contracts, and documentation related to installation and maintenance of interior and exterior fixtures, elevators, display cases, electrical systems, and sprinklers. Also included are papers regarding city certifications, a credit rating, and an invitation to a staff appreciation event.

Related Collections

Levy, Henry, Scrapbook, 1871-1984, Mss. SB L668


Biographical Note

Brothers Moses and Henry Levy immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1853. After establishing themselves as peddlers in rural Kentucky, the brothers opened their first store in downtown Louisville in 1861. The business, a department store carrying men’s, women’s and children’s apparel was run by the brothers and then by successive generations of the Levy family. In 1888, the business began the process of purchasing the lot at 3rd and Market Streets in downtown Louisville, and commissioned the construction of a new building to house their flagship store. The building was completed in 1893, and was designed by prominent Louisville architects Charles Julian Clarke and Arthur Loomis. The company opened several satellite locations in area malls and shopping centers beginning in 1955, and the store on Market Street remained open until 1979. The company ceased retail operations in 1987.

The Levy Bros. building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is noted for the original architecture and building façade as well as for exterior electric lighting accents added in the early 1900s. In 1984, the building was renovated. The first two floors became a restaurant, while the floors above became residential apartments.


Folder List

Folder 1: Administration, 1890-1914

Folder 2: Construction, 1888-1893

Folder 3: Electrical service, 1913-1914

Folder 4: Elevators, 1893-1913

Folder 5: Fixtures, 1913-1914

Folder 6: Receipts, 1892-1910

Folder 7: Sprinklers, 1913-1914


Subject Headings

Building – Kentucky – Louisville

Cabinetwork – Kentucky – Louisville

Clarke & Loomis (Firm)

Department stores – Design and construction

Department stores – Kentucky – Louisville

Elevators – Kentucky – Louisville

Fire sprinklers – Kentucky – Louisville

Letterheads – Kentucky – Louisville

Levy family

Otis Elevator Company

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