Camayo Arcade

The Camayo Arcade, an early shopping center, is located in the 1500 block of Winchester Avenue in downtown Ashland, Kentucky. The Arcade features entrances from Winchester and Carter Avenues, along with 15th and 16th Streets.6

The Camayo Arcade was proposed for the location that was the former site of the Josselson Brothers Furniture Store, which was then-used by C.H. Parsons Company, in the 1500 block of Winchester Avenue.3 Parsons announced intentions to vacate the building for a location on Carter Avenue. The location of the arcade was ideal for the developers, given its central location in downtown.

On September 22, 1925, a construction contract was awarded to C. Harrison Smith, a general contractor from Huntington, West Virginia3 Excavation from the alley to Carter Avenue began the following week, and at that point, it was announced that 60% of the retail space, which occupied the first two floors, was already rented out. The building would feature a footprint of 15,000 square feet, but contain 68,190 square feet of total floor space.6

A meeting of the Ashland Bus Association held on March 10, 1926 resulted in the decision to locate the city bus station in the Arcade.5 6 Organized just a year prior, the association was organized for the purpose of obtaining cooperation between different bus lines operating out of the city and to other towns in Kentucky and surrounding states.

On June 12, a contract for the electrical fixtures in the Arcade was announced to the Beardalee Chandeller Mfg. Company of Chicago, through the Williams Electric Company of Ashland.4 It represented the largest electrical fixture contract in the city at the time, and was part of a policy by Camayo Arcade officials to buy “made in Ashland” wherever feasible. The lighting arrangement was designed by A.F. Klein, a local architect.

The storefronts featured rosetta marble, and each interior store featured a depth of 17.5 feet, with a width of 15, 30 or 45 feet, with or without partitions.6 In addition, a provision was made during construction to allow tenants to install balconies. Consulting fixture designers were made available without charge.

The Camayo Arcade opened in July, and managed under Jno. C. C. Mayo and Alexander Cameron.6

A soft opening of the bowling alley was held on October 9 at 7 PM.2 Announced by John C. C. Mayo of the Camayo Company, the Bowling Department of the 15,000 square foot Camayo Arcade Recreation Center featured state-of-the-art bowling equipment that cost $15,000 to install by the Brunswick-Balke Collender Company.1 6 Another $15,000 was spent on furnishings and numerous billiard tables.

Camayo Arcade Booklet

[collapse title=”Sources” collapseid=”Sources”]
  1. “Arcade Alleys.” Ashland Daily Independent 3 Dec. 1926: 1-2. Print.
  2. “Arcade Alleys to Open on Saturday.” Ashland Daily Independent 3 Oct. 1926: 1-2. Print.
  3. “Camayo Contract Awarded Tuesday.” Ashland Daily Independent 23 Sept. 1925: 1. Print.
  4. “Arcade Fixtures Contract is Let.” Ashland Daily Independent 13 June 1926: 2. Print.
  5. “Camayo Arcade is Bus Station Site.” Ashland Daily Independent 11 Mar. 1926: 2. Print.
  6. Camayo Arcade. Ashland: n.p., 1926. N. pag. Print.

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