Photos of downtown Chattanooga in early 1962 show a vibrant business district from the perspective of two busy intersections on Market Street.
The images are from photographic slides shared with the ChattanoogaHistory.com website by local attorney Hugh J. Moore Jr., of the Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel law firm.
"Both photos were taken by me, downtown, to document a snowfall," Moore said in an email exchange.
Moore said he was 17 years old and a senior at McCallie School when he took the photos.
While the slides were developed in April 1962, the date of the snowfall is not known. Moore estimates it might have been in March of that year.
"The photo with the Stein's clothing store at the left is on Market Street at Ninth Street, looking north," Moore wrote. "You can see the Loveman's department store , the old American National Bank building at Eighth and Market, Kress dime store, Uncle Herman's shoe store and others. This is before Ninth Street was widened."
In 1981, East Ninth Street was renamed M.L. King Boulevard, after the civil rights leader. Stein's clothing store, at 839 Market Street, closed at that location late in 1962, according a report in the Chattanooga News-Free Press. The S.H. Kress store continued to operate into the 1980s.
"The other photo was taken the same day, at 11th and Market, also looking north," Moore said. "The Plaza Hotel is the yellow building at the right. You can see, at the left, the signs for the Greyhound bus station, which was between 10th and 11th streets, and the Rogers Theater, which was between Ninth and 10th streets."
The Rogers Theater opened in 1951 as the city's biggest movie house with 1,257 cushioned seats and a screen measuring approximately 24 feet by 18 feet, according to a previous report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The building was demolished in 1980. The Plaza Hotel later became the Southern Express building/Pickle Barrel restaurant, according to Sam Hall, curator of ChattanoogaHistory.com.
Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, Chattanooga History.com is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available. If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives or original nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.
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