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Ashland, Kentucky: The Camayo Arcade


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The Camayo Arcade is located in downtown Ashland, Kentucky, and was completed in 1926.


Construction began on September 22 of the prior year on the site of the former Josselson Brothers Furniture Store, which at that point was owned by the C.H. Parsons Company. The location of the arcade was ideal, given its central location in downtown along the 1500 block of Winchester Avenue.

Electrical fixtures were installed by June 1926, designed by local architect A.F. Klein and manufactured by Beardalee Chandeller of Chicago via the Williams Electric Company of Ashland. The storefronts were then fitted with rosetta marble, and each interior measured 17.5 feet deep with widths of 15, 30 or 45 feet with provisions for partitions and balconies. Consulting fixture designers were made available without charge.



A soft opening of the bowling alley was held on October 9. The Bowling Department of the Camayo Arcade Recreation Center featured state-of-the-art bowling equipment that cost $15,000 to install by the Brunswick-Balke Collender Company. Another $15,000 was spent on furnishings and numerous billiard tables.


The Arcade today is far less busy than its heydays of the 1920s through the early 1980s. The longest serving tenant in the Arcade today is Homer Wilburn’s Barber Shop, which has been in the Arcade since 1964 – and with other owners prior to that until the Arcade opened. Another tenant, Richie’s Locksmith & Key Shop, was started by Leon Thayre Richie who sold guns and keys when it opened in 1947. Other stores included Eagle’s Dimestore, Pollock Jewelers, Cameo and Dollar General Stores. Below is a photograph from a promotional magazine about Ashland, with the Camayo Arcade visible to the left. Across the street was Nobl’s Shoes and G.C. Murphy’s.


Further Reading

a. Camayo Arcade (blog): http://urbanup.net/2012/01/02/developments/kentucky/the-camayo-arcade/

b. Camayo Arcade (article), which includes a full scan of the Camayo Arcade booklet that was printed in 1926: http://urbanup.net/cities/kentucky/ashland-kentucky/ashland-kentucky-neighborhoods/ashland-kentucky-commercial-historic-district/camayo-arcade/

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