Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Man o’ War Boulevard, 1997

Aerial view of the development around Man o’ War Boulevard and Todds Road, Sept. 22, 1997. Todd’s Road is running horizontally in the middle of the image, meeting the curved Man o’ War, which is heading up towards Hamburg Place, which is under construction in the upper left corner of the image. Click here to see an image of that construction. In the middle left is a movie theater, which closed in September 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Click on the image for a closer look. Photo by Charles Bertram | staff file photo

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Campbell House Inn, 1951

The Campbell House Inn construction site at the intersection of Harrodsburg and Mason Headley Roads in Lexington, January, 1951. The hotel opened later that year with 130 rooms, each with air conditioning, a radio and a telephone.

The fire-proof structure had a dining room with a seating capacity of 300. The two-story Colonial cream brick hotel was built in the form of an “H”.

The opening of the hotel was part of a major boom year for hotels in Lexington that year. The Phoenix Hotel in downtown Lexington, erected a multi-million dollar, nine-story expansion on the site of their four story section. And the Springs Motel, also on Harrodsburg Road, expanded, increasing their capacity by 30. Click here to see another image from our archive of the Campbell House Inn, in 1960.

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Tim Couch and Craig Yeast photo shoot for Outback Bowl, 1998

In preparation for the 1999 Outback Bowl, University of Kentucky football players Craig Yeast, left, and Tim Couch posed for a bowl preview photo on Dec. 16, 1998 in UK’s locker room. Kentucky played Penn State on New Year’s Day but came up short, losing 26-14. Click here to see more images from our archives of Couch. Photo by David Stephenson | staff

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Downtown Lexington, 1977

A line of heavy thundershowers passed over downtown Lexington the morning of Dec. 5, 1977. The storm dropped 1.52 inches of rain on the city. The Purcell Building was struck by lighting leaving debris on Main Street. The picture was taken looking west down Main Street from atop the First Security Building, today called Chase Tower. Directly in the middle of the image is the Phoenix Hotel. It was demolished in 1981 and 1982 by Wallace Wilkinson, who planned to use the site to build the World Coal Center skyscraper. It was never built, and the site eventually became the Park Plaza Apartments and Phoenix Park. Next to it towards the bottom of the image is what is now the Lexington Public Library, the Police Department, the Fayette County Clerks office and the Helix Garage. In the background, just above the Phoenix Hotel you can see construction taking place for the 22-floor high-rise Kincaid Towers. Photo by Frank Anderson | staff file photo

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Keeneland Fall Meet, 1969

A horse gets a workout on the backside of Keeneland on the morning of the first day of the Fall Meet, Oct. 4, 1969. In the background is the grandstand. The opening day crowd of 12,020 of the 15-day meet wagered $661,968 that day. The 2019 Keeneland Fall Meet opens today. Click here to see other images from our archives from Keeneland. Herald-Leader staff file photo

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Triangle Park tree planting, 1982

Trees being planted in Lexington’s Triangle Park, April 28, 1982. Scheduled for completion by mid-June, the park still needed finishing touches including grading, grass, lighting and brick work. The park opened July 2, 1982 before an estimated 4,000 people who oohed and aahed as the lights and fountains came on. The project, on the 1.4-acre slice of land bordered by West Main Street, Vine Street and Broadway, once seemed dead because the Urban County Government didn’t have enough money to build it. But private citizens got together, formed Triangle Foundation, raised $1 million and with the government’s help help finished the park in time for the city’s Fourth of July celebration. Developer Alex G. Campbell, who led the foundation, said none of those who began work on the park “two years ago could have foreseen the development of this tract into the park we see today.” He predicted that the park would become a symbol of Lexington as “the arch is to St. Louis and the space needle is to Seattle.” Years after Rupp Arena was finished in 1976, the area that became the park was a parking lot. Today the park, which features fountains in a series of “water steps”, is smoke free and hosts a number of events from the city’s Christmas tree lightning to Fountain Films on Friday. In the background of the image is Rupp Arena, the Lexington Center and the Hyatt Regency hotel. Photo by Charles Bertram | staff file photo

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Continental Inn construction, 1965

Construction of the Continental Inn, near the intersection of New Circle and Winchester roads, Sept. 12, 1965. Completed at a cost of $2 million, the hotel had a cocktail lounge, dining room, convention facilities, a private club and a swimming pool. It was undoubtedly Lexington’s most colorful hotel, hosting the most varied assortment of characters. The Continental Inn was always a bit over the top, hosting Elvis conventions and psychic fairs and square dancing conventions. If you were seeking a tattoo expo or regional darts tournament in Lexington and didn’t know where it might wind up, the smart bet was always the Continental Inn, which covered just under six acres with 319 rooms and don’t forget the indoor pool with a lit-up Statue of Liberty replica peering over. The Rotary Club met there for years, too, and in 1976 then-California governor Ronald Reagan presented the group’s high school academic awards to Lexington students. Actor Lee Majors learned to drive an 18-wheeler in the parking lot there while filming the movie “Steel” (1979) at the Kincaid Towers. The Continental Inn stopped accepting guests on August 31, 2005 and most of the hotel was demolished in 2007. The last remaining building, the Conference Center, was torn down in 2016. Today part of the site is an Infiniti car dealership. Click here to see a typical room at the hotel from 2002. Herald-Leader staff file photo

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City-wide cleanup, 1950

Mrs. James Mahan sorts out unwanted papers during the beginning of Lexington’s city-wide, two-week annual cleanup campaign in April 1950. The campaign, under guidance of the Chamber of Commerce and various safety leaders, featured both city and county trucks hauling rubbish away. In addition to the cleaning, safety was also being demonstrated to housewives across the county. Day-to-day safety measures such checking for worn or damaged electrical cords or proper fuse replacement was shown. Some of the items on Mahan’s shelf include Ajax cleanser, canned oysters, blackberry and pear preservers, empty coke bottles, canned vegetables and spices, including a container of Kroger cinnamon. The house where this picture was taken, 430 Columbia Ave., is now a parking lot for the William T. Young Library on the University of Kentucky’s campus. Published in the Lexington Leader, April 14, 1950

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Lexington rainbow mural, 1983

The Lexington rainbow mural was about all that remained of the former Philip Gall & Son sporting goods building at 230 West Main St. in downtown Lexington, as workmen took down the last wall on October 26, 1983. The space was being cleared for a downtown retail and office complex called the Lexington Galleria, to be developed by the Webb Companies. This and the adjacent World Coal Center never happened. Instead the Lexington Financial Center (commonly known as the Big Blue Building) was developed. The site shown here is now the location of its parking garage. Photo by Ron Garrison | Staff

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McAdams & Morford Drugs on Main Street, 1939

Looking west down Lexington’s Main Street at Upper Street, 1939. The building at the corner is the McAdams & Morford Building. The drug store occupied the corner space from 1898-1994. The three-story building was completed in 1849 and housed Melodeon Hall, one of Lexington’s first large theaters on the second floor. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2017 a car wreck damaged the entrance to Harvey’s restaurant at the corner of what was the drug store and uncovered elaborate arches that were part of the Venetian Renaissance cast-iron façade added to the building in the 1850s. Today the corner location is Harvey’s Bar & Hugo’s Ultralounge. Herald-Leader archive photo.

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