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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Louisville and Nashville Railroad Office Building Neon Sign

Louisville and Nashville Railroad Office Building Neon Sign

The Louisville and Nashville Railroad Office Building is an historic building located in downtown Louisville, KY where it was once the headquarters of the important area railroad.

The structure is eleven stories tall. The first three stories are made of stonework of rusticated ashlar, with capital-topped pilasters in a series. Floors four to ten have ashlar pilasters framing a finish of red brick. Windows of the building are done in series of three. The attic is 1.5 stories tall, and features the distinctive initials of L&N. It was designed by W. H. Courtenay, the chief architect of the Railroad, in a Beaux Arts style; one of the largest commercial buildings in that architectural style still standing.

The original Louisville and Nashville Railroad offices in Louisville were at Second and Main in Louisville, by the entrance of present-day George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge. By 1890, it had become obvious that the building was too overcrowded. It was decided that the office building should be located next to Louisville's Union Station. Construction began in 1902, but its completion was delayed until January 1907, due to difficulties with organized labor in a 1905 steel workers strike. Its total cost was $650,000. It was large enough that after decades of separation, all of the main administrative staff could be in the same building. In the 1970s, about 2,000 L&N employees worked in the building. After L&N was purchased by CSX nearly all of the jobs were moved from Louisville to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1980. In 1984, the state of Kentucky spent $15 million to purchase and renovate the property, retaining the L&N name and neon lights on its upper stories.

Louisville and Nashville Railroad Office Building

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