Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Central Baptist hospital construction, 1952

Construction of Central Baptist hospital on Nicholasville Road in March of 1952. At a cost of $2.6 million, construction took six years, hampered by fundraising efforts that lasted nearly a decade. The hospital was part of a three-phase construction program to add 750 more beds to the state. In addition to Central Baptist, Kentucky Baptists constructed Western Baptists in Paducah and an addition to Kentucky Baptists hospital in Louisville. The H-shaped, 108,000 square-foot structure on what was then called Nicholasville Pike, had 173 beds, 25 bassinets, five operating rooms and two delivery rooms. The hospital opened its doors on May 12, 1954. Gifts from 35 Central Kentucky stores and organizations were presented to the first baby delivered at the hospital, a daughter born to Mr. and Mrs. Carl Shannon. Today the hospital goes by the name Baptist Health Lexington. Click here to see another image from our archives of the hospital. Published in the Lexington Herald March 8, 1952. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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Moonshine, beer, whisky raid, 1956

On April 7, 1956, officers raided ten Lexington establishments in a mass clean-up of places believed to be illegally possessing and selling beer and whisky. Moonshine, beer, whisky and a .38 caliber pistol were among the items confiscated by the four state, 13 local and five federal officers who participated in the operation. Some of the participants in the raid included, from left, front row, ABC Agent Roger Crouch, Federal Agent Stanley Kaminski, Maj. Wallace McMurray, and Detective Sgt. Gilber Cravens, of the Lexington police department; Back row, Lexington Patrolman Charles Henry, ABC Agent Mark Holmes and Federal Agent Paul Tarter. Click here to see other photos from our archives of moonshine raids. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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Lexington’s second LaRosa’s restaurant, 1975

Lexington’s second LaRosa’s Restaurant location opened in the Coliseum Plaza, corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue in early February 1975. The popular Cincinnati-based restaurant featured big backed booths and stucco walls. Preparing to serve customers were, from left, Diana Cagle, Jim Hoff, manager, Lance Churchill, co-owner, and Kirk Seeberger, co-owner. The first Lexington LaRosa’s location opened in Woodhill Shopping center in 1974. Both locations were closed before 1979. A new Lexington location will open today on Richmond Road. It will be the second-largest LaRosa’s in the chain, behind only the original. Photo by Frank Anderson | Staff

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Gay Brewer Jr. during match at Picadome, 1950

Lafayette’s Gay Brewer Jr. tees it up while from left, teammate Bob Davis and University of Kentucky golfers Don Smith and Chester Riddle look on during a match, April 11, 1950 at Picadome Golf Club. The Generals, the defending state high school champions, edged out UK’s freshman squad in the season opener for both teams. Brewer’s two-under-par 70 was the day’s low score. Also playing in the match for Lafayette was future Kentucky governor John Y. Brown Jr. Brewer, the individual state titlist and National Junior Amateur champion at the time of this photo, won the Kentucky Open the following year and turned professional in 1956. He won 11 times on the PGA tour, including the 1967 Masters. He also played for victorious U.S. Ryder Cup teams in 1967 and 1973. Brewer, who retired from the Champions Tour in 2000, died in 2007 after battling cancer. The golf course in Lexington where he learned to play was renamed the Gay Brewer Jr. Course at Picadome. Here is another picture from our archives of Brewer. Herald-Leader archive photo

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Downtown Lexington, 1944

Downtown view of Lexington, looking west down East Main Street, circa 1944. Click on the image for a closer look. On the left is the landmark Phoenix Hotel, which 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. Up the right side is the Ben Ali Theater, which opened in 1913 at 121 East Main Street, across the street from the Phoenix Hotel. At four stories tall. It had a main auditorium, a balcony and a gallery, and 12 private boxes on each side, for a total seating capacity of 1,507. The floors had peacock-blue carpets with gold trim, and the walls were finished in ornamental plaster, with mosaic title floors and marble wainscoting. Built to house the top traveling play companies and grand opera, it was a vaudeville house in that medium’s heyday and again in the revival of the late 1940s and early 1950s. In its later days it showed movies, closing Sept. 9, 1964. Its last films were the James Bond movie “From Russia with Love” and “The Pink Panther.” It was torn town in 1965. Today it is the site of the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza. Next to the theater is the Ben Snyder department store. The store was founded in 1913 and had locations in Louisville, Paducah, Elizabethtown, Bowling Green and southern Indiana. This location operated from 1935 until 1980, leaving Wolf Wile’s as the only downtown Lexington department store. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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Cadets visit Herald-Leader pressroom, 1950

This group of cadets from Millersburg Military Institute came to Lexington in February 1950 for an inspection of the Herald-Leader newspaper publishing plant. At that time the Herald-Leader was on Short Street directly behind the old Fayette County Courthouse. They spent some time in the pressroom, which was in the basement of the building, to observe the placing of cylinder plates on the press and noted the high speed with which the papers rolled from the folder. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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Central Exchange bank building, 1946

The Central Exchange Bank building, 163 West Short Street, seen in March 1946. Located on the northeast corner of Short and Upper Streets, Curry’s Drug Store was located on the ground level of the building. The seven story building is now the home of the Traditional Bank. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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Clerk’s office issues auto tags, 1940

Deputies in the Fayette County Clerk’s office had become so interested in getting as many 1940 auto tags as possible sold before the annual mad scramble that they gave a royal welcome to motorists willing to shop early. On February 19, 1940 L.E. Simpson, right, went to the clerk’s office to buy a tag for his farm truck and found Clerk J. Porter Land and 10 of this deputies eager to make the sale. The clerks had sold 11,100 tags for passenger cars but they had thousands more to get rid of before the March 1 deadline. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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McClure twins celebrate 8th birthday, 1951

Twins, Mark and Clark McClure, right, celebrated their eighth birthday with a Western-themed party in February 1951 at their home on Summit Drive. They are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Chase McClure. In attendance were, front row, left to right, Ronnie Stokley, Priscilla Hegeman and Kenney Papania. Back row, Dorothy Hegeman, Joan Moore, Douglas McMeekin, Danny O’Connell, Clark and Mark McClure. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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Rick Pitino’s post-game radio interviews, 1990

Rick Pitino, right, University of Kentucky basketball coach, drew a record 11,000 fans to his postgame interview with Cawood Ledford after a Jan. 27, 1990 win over Mississippi. Previously, UK coaches conducted their post-game shows from the locker room, or some hallway in the bowels of Rupp Arena. Listeners on the UK radio network could enjoy the show, but fans in the arena missed it. Then, beginning with the Mississippi State game Dec. 4, the first-year coach decided to move his show out into the arena, where everybody could see it. For good measure, he had the audio piped into the arena sound system so that any fans who wanted to could hang around after the game and listen. And hang around they did. A few hundred fans stayed for the first show. But once the word got out, things just took off. About 8,000 fans stayed to hear Pitino after the Cats’ victory over Tennessee on Jan. 20, a record until after their 98-79 win over the Rebels. Even Pitino, who dreamed the whole thing up, is amazed by it all. “I had seen a couple of pro teams, Phoenix and maybe Indiana, do it,” he said. “So I said, look, maybe some of the players’ family members will stick around after the game, and they won’t be able to hear the post-game show. So, if we got maybe 100 people it would be worthwhile to pipe in the show and let them hear it. But I never expected anything like this. And today we had about 11,000, which really shocked me.” Ledford said Coach Adolph Rupp also did post-game shows in front of the fans. But they never caught on the way Pitino’s have. “The thing is, Rick really does a great job with the fans; he knows how to play to the crowd,” Ledford said. During this show Pitino broke away from a discussion of Kentucky’s full-court press to announce that he would henceforth call it the “mother-in-law press” because it caused “total pressure and harassment.” The crowd broke out in laughter. Click here to see more images from our archives or Rick Pitino and here to see images of Cawood Ledford.  Photo by Frank Anderson | staff

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