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Downtown Green Space JNEM

Vintage Old Cathedral View

by Michael R. Allen

This 1950s-era postcard view of the Old Cathedral is intriguing. Most of what is seen here around the cathedral is gone: the small buildings on Third Street seen at left, the Pierce Building in the background (well, it’s now reclad as part of the old Adam’s Mark Hotel), the Merchant’s Exchange, the residence next door and the free-standing column in the foreground (from the United States Courts and Custom House, already demolished). I wonder where that column went!

What is also missing is the free connection between downtown and what would become the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. That row of buildings at left is right across the street from what was then the mostly-cleared site. People working, shopping and eating in those buildings had great views of the new Memorial site. Could we ever rebuild that western edge to be so urban? Not without removing the interstate highway first.

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