all that’s left of clarksdale


In 1933, America was struggling to recover from the Great Depression. President Roosevelt’s WPA program brought funding for construction of public housing for low income families in Louisville.  The first housing project was completed in 1940 and was called “Clarksdale Homes”.

Clarksdale eventually had 713 dwelling units which housed many of the city’s poorest families. Located just east of downtown, it sat on six large city blocks, totaling approximately 29 acres.  Over time, the buildings decayed and became crime-ridden.

The Clarksdale Homes were demolished in 2005 to create the mixed-use, mixed-income Liberty Green development.  Its residents were dispersed throughout the city to other housing arrangements. This redevelopment plan was part of the Hope VI program, a program seeking to demolish the old models of housing projects throughout the United States and replace them with less crowded, more humane models. As part of the redevelopment plans, a certain amount of units have been available for some of the prior Clarksdale tenants. However, it has been reported that many residents have faced long waiting lists or have been denied due to their income, work history, credit history, or criminal records.

Clarksdale TV, a small TV sales and repair shop, located on the corner of Shelby St. and Broadway, is all that remains in Louisville bearing the name “Clarksdale.”  The shop opened just before the housing projects did- in 1938.  It’s still owned and operated by the same family.

Clarksdale TV

706 S Shelby St
Louisville, KY 40203-2487

(502) 585-5291‎

The photo below was taken by Branden of Broken Sidewalk before Clarksdale was demolished:


Broken Sidewalk has a gallery of additional photos of the Clarksdale Homes before and after demolition.


21 Responses to “all that’s left of clarksdale”

  1. August 5, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Hey there,

    I have an interesting Clarksdale photo you might be interested in that not a lot of people have seen. Send me an e.mail and I will send it along.

  2. 8 juanita
    October 4, 2009 at 1:55 am

    I used to live in the clarksdale projects on jackson and jefferson street. across the street there was a kroger store and I believe and o&l store and on the corner was a place called the brass rail. st. boniface church was right behind us or we could see the back of the church. I would like to know if I can get a picture of the clarksdale project in that area.

  3. 10 juanita
    November 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I used to live in the projects there. they were on jackson and there was some stores across the street from there. one was o&l and the other krogers. sure do miss the old place. anyone has a picture please send me one and thanks.

  4. 11 Ed Goldsmith
    May 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Branden
    I used to live on Jackson st for 14 years 1959 to1973.Can you send me some old PIC> of the place.
    thanks ED

  5. 12 Ed Goldsmith
    May 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Branden send to edgold55@gmail.com

  6. 13 Eddie Goldsmith
    May 31, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Please send pictures of Clarksdale to edgold55@gmail.com

  7. 14 Clarksdale r.i.p.
    July 2, 2010 at 12:33 am

    If anyone has any pics of Clarksdale during the 90’s let me know. Especially any with any of the Welcome to Clarksdale signs

    • August 24, 2011 at 3:04 am

      My grandmother Abbie Wheatley, her friend Frank Claus, my father Pat Wheatley lived in an end unit I think at clarksdale. I have pics of them in their yard with a 2 ? story building with a smokestack in the background. Maybe a factory ? Would like to know. also have pics of my dad (teens) at a playground or a school playground. does anyone remember my dad? I have an address for them at 403 clay St. Dont know if that is a clarksdale address or another place. Does anyone know? Any pics are appreciated. S. Wheatley (bluemoon2256@aol.com)

  8. 16 Louie Thomas
    July 31, 2013 at 12:13 am

    During the 1940s there were no African-Americans living in Clarksdale, most of the people who lived there
    could not find housing because of World War II,I lived two blocks from Clarksdale and most of my friends lived
    there, they were not poor there was just no housing available and when the war was over most moved into
    other areas of the city.

  9. August 10, 2014 at 1:35 am

    I lived in clarksdale for over 20 years, we lived on fehr st. It’s now liberty.there use to be 2 guards that patrolled the project ever night I can’t remember their names now…I went to St. John and st boniface.. There were 5 of us girls and our mom..I never saw drugs growing up just liquor,we respected our elders,and all the moms kept us in line… I was poor but it was a magical place to grow up I ran all over those 29 acres..clarksdale dance oh yeah….., my name is Gail Wheatley!!!

    • 19 Jimbim
      May 7, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Gail, I lived there in 1955. My dad died there in June of 1955 and soon after we moved. I was 4rs old and it was a really great place then. I loved the stairs for i would take the mattress to the stairs and slide on it down the stairs. I once caught the room on fire right above the door. My room was right across from my dad’s room and i went to wake him up for it was my brothers birthday and he was died. But i use to play with all the kids in the neighborhood. We would play on the side walk that ran down the middle in between the apartments.

  10. December 6, 2015 at 4:10 am

    I lived in Clarksdale ftom 1940 to 1950. My address was 415 South clay. I had brother W.A, sisters JoAnn and Betty . JoAnn and W.A have passed. My maiden name was Goss. The best place to grow up.

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