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Kamensky, Harry Collection (MC 290) - Columbus State University

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Kamensky, Harry Collection (MC 290)

Biographical Note

Harry Kamensky is best remembered for developing Rankin Square, the Iron Works Convention & Trade Center, and the Hilton hotel. He also held a degree in geology, served in World War II, ran a family scrap metal business, E. Cohn Co., and was both chairman of the Muscogee County Democratic Party (1974-1978) and president of the Historic District Preservation Society. Several obituaries describe him as a visionary, especially in his efforts to redevelop downtown Columbus and advocate historic preservation. Kamensky was born on May 27, 1925 to immigrant parents from Eastern Europe and murdered October 17, 1994, by a former employee.

Scope and Content

The Harry Kamensky Collection encompasses three folders of photographs, two boxes of slides, and a few newspaper clippings all related to either Kamensky's redevelopment work in downtown Columbus (and possibly outside of the city) or his travels.

1973-1980 1 box (.75 linear feet)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Harry Kamensky Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University. Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required: Harry Kamensky Collection (MC 290) Columbus State University Archives Columbus, Georgia

Box and Folder List

Box 1

  • Folder 1 - Photos of downtown Columbus redevelopment, 1976
  • Folder 2 - Photos and negatives of downtown Columbus redevelopment, 1976
  • Folder 3 - Photos of downtown Columbus redevelopment, late 1970s
  • Folder 4 - Newspaper clippings related to Kamensky's redevelopment projects, 1976-1979
  • Slide Box 1 - Containers 1-24 (see below for detailed descriptions)
  • Slide Box 2 - Containers 25-28, 38-45 (see below for detailed descriptions)
  • Containers 29-37 - Loose slide boxes (see below for detailed descriptions)

Container List

  • Container 1 - Slides of Kamensky's scrap metal yard, buildings, and redevelopment work, 1976-1978
  • Container 2 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1976-1979.
  • Container 3 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1976-1978.
  • Container 4 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1976-1979
  • Container 5 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1976-1978
  • Container 6 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1977-1979
  • Container 7 - Slides of buildings, redevelopment work, and scrap yard, 1976-1978
  • Container 8 - Slides of buildings with Christmas/holiday decor and redevelopment work, 1976-1978
  • Container 9 - Slides of buildings with holiday decorations and redevelopment work, 1976-1980
  • Container 10 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1976-1979
  • Container 11 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1977-1980
  • Container 12 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1977-1980
  • Container 13 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1977
  • Container 14 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1977-1980
  • Container 15 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, at least 1976
  • Container 16 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work, 1978
  • Container 17 - Slides of houses and people (possibly friends/family of Kamensky), 1977
  • Container 18 - Slides of people (possibly friends/family of Kamensky) and redevelopment, 1977-1980
  • Container 19 - Slides of people (possibly friends/family of Kamensky), 1974-1978
  • Container 20 - Slides of people (possibly friends/family of Kamensky), 1974-1979
  • Container 21 - Slides of people (possibly friends/family of Kamensky) and restaurants (part ofredevelopment), 1978-1979
  • Container 22 - Slides of redeveloped buildings, street row with holiday decorations, and image of a man with “Educational Television Department Auburn University” stamped across top of slide, 1976-1978
  • Container 23 - Slides of “Trolley Square,” n.d.
  • Container 24 - Dark, underdeveloped slides, 1979
  • Container 25 - Slides of city bisected by river and buildings, 1976-1979 (bulk 1976)
  • Container 26 - Slides of buildings, building interiors, and a crowded arena (possibly Bicentennial celebration at the Columbus Civic Center), 1976-1977
  • Container 27 - Slides of crowded arena (possibly Bicentennial celebration at the Columbus Civic Center) and Bicentennial floats on a river at night, 1976
  • Container 28 - Slides of Bicentennial floats on a river at night, buildings, stores and stalls inside buildings, and print of “Rankin Square,” 1976
  • Container 29 - Slides of old houses (some boarded up and possibly being renovated), 1976-1979
  • Container 30 - Slides of people (possibly family/friends of Kamensky) and landscapes, 1979
  • Container 31 - Slides of an 1878 map of Columbus, 1977.
  • Container 32 - Slides of a tombstone (“Ferguson or “Ferchson”), interior furniture and decorations (including U.S. seal and coat of arms mantel piece), buildings, people (possibly friends/family of Kamensky) and partial view of Lincoln Memorial, 1973
  • Container 33 - Slides of buildings and redevelopment work (mostly on roads in front of redeveloped buildings), 1980
  • Container 34 - Slides of redeveloped buildings and a house, 1978-1979
  • Container 35 - Slides of redevelopment work, 1980
  • Container 36 - Slides of building and restaurant interiors (part of redevelopment work), 1979
  • Container 37 - Slides of road resurfacing, buildings, restaurants (part of redevelopment work), and people including Kamensky (and possibly some of his friends/family), 1980
  • Container 38 - Slides of large, older houses, building interiors, and “Cook Convention Center” (Memphis, Tennessee), at least 1977-1979
  • Container 39 - Slides of building interiors, stores, cityscapes, unusual skyscraper, Cook Convention Center (?), 1976-1978
  • Container 40 - Slides of large, old houses (possibly one church), people (possibly friends/family of Kamensky), building interiors, 1977
  • Container 41 - Slides of large, older houses, buildings, building interiors, and walled-off veranda (possibly hotel/private organization), 1977-1979
  • Container 42 - Slides of different buildings, building interiors, walled-off veranda (possibly hotel/private organization), sign “Paseo del Rio/Riverwalk” and another for “The Village,” floats on river at night (possibly Bicentennial), 1976-1978
  • Container 43 - Slides of buildings, building interiors, “T. K. Harty's Saloon,” “Fraklin House,” at least 1976-1977
  • Container 44 - Slides of buildings, houses, walled-off veranda (possibly hotel/private organization), riverfront, 1976-1978
  • Container 45 - Slides of riverfront, floats on river at night (likely Bicentennial), patriotic décor on structure, buildings, 1976-1978
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