Sep 21, 2010

Signs of the Times: Levy Bros and Spaghetti



Levy Bros. was a long time Louisville department store and institution founded by Henry and Moses Levy, who opened their store in 1861 at the NE corner of 3rd St. and Market in a corner room of a 4 story building. They prospered during the Civil War as suppliers became the nation's largest supplier of Confederate for reunions and encampments. In 1889, they purchased the land and started construction in 1892 of the landmark Levy Bros. Bldg., which they completed in 1893. This building still stands and features the ca. 1908 electric lights outlining the exterior. They carried a full line of men's golf and tennis wear, ladies and children's shoes, plus men's and boys clothing and hats. They started carrying womenswear in 1940s. The Levy family closed the Third and Market flagship store on Oct. 10, 1980. The suburban stores all closed by 1987.

This downtown building is on the National Register, and now houses the Old Spaghetti Factory Restaurant and loft apartments. The restaurant moved into the first floor in the 1980s, as I recall when I was working around the corner at 3rd and Main. They still light the building it up, too and it is still a quite the landmark.
These two painted signs are on the back of the building and are visible from 3rd Street. With only the mention of men's and boy's clothing, I presume they pre-date the 1940s when Levy's added women's fashions.
For more history and photos, please visit our entry on Levy Bros. here: A Short History of Louisville Stores.

Levy Bros. Good Clothes for Men and Boys Levy Bros./the Old Spaghetti Factory

4 comments:

Robin said...

Such a great building! I remember my grandmother still using the term "Lit up like Levy's" when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's. As in, "Turn off those lights when you leave a room! We are going to be lit up like Levy Brothers!"

Gary said...

My father was a Barber at Levy Bros for many years. When I was small (early-mid 60s) I would go there and ride the elevator up to the fifth floor restroom so i could look out the back windows to see the Ohio river and Indiana. Also i remember the squeaky floors, elevator attenants, and getting to see Santa on one of the upper floors. And today when I was downtown I could still see the store name faintly on top of the rear of the building.

Anonymous said...

Remember the barber shop? Do you have a photo of it? If so, my phone is 5028070100. Many thanks, Randy.

Sally said...

I remember the barber shop well. In recent years i was able to acquire the glass partition walls. White tile floors of the barbor shop area and the glass partitions defined it from the shopping area on the 1st floor. Does anyone have photos of the barber shop?
randy.hedden@insightbb.com