Gordon’s 1 Hour Photo Center has been part of Hazard for more than 50 years, but will soon close after owner Paul Gordon decided to retire and sell the building.
The people of Hazard have witnessed how the business grew and changed over the decades to eventually offer both photography and cell phone provider services.
“We’ve been in business about 53 years here in Hazard,” said Gordon, “I started on Maple Street, then I bought a lot on East Main and we turned it into Gordon’s Photo Center.”
Gordon’s work has grown over the years to encompass photographing weddings and babies to doing news and sports photography.
“I worked for the Courier Journal and covered a lot of events and about five different presidents,” said Gordon. Later he added on a photo lab and custom framing.
“In ’72 we put in a commercial lab and started processing film, I had 11 people working for me,” Gordon said. Eventually Gordon’s 1 Hour Photo Center also began offering cell phone services.
“In 1992, I started to work for Kentucky Cellular which turned into Appalachian Wireless,” said Gordon.
Gordon said that making people happy was his main goal in his decades of work.
“That was my main thing — I want to make people happy and make prints for people that they’re happy with,” he said. “I always want to take care of my customers and I’ve had thousands of great great customers.”
However, he said, it is time to leave it behind.
“I’ve had quite a career and I decided it was about time to hang it up after 53 years,” said Gordon. “I’ve enjoyed all of my customers and tried to do the best job I could do, I was just ready to retire and take it easy and not have to report to work every day and have a schedule.”
Gordon said that response people have had to the business closing has been surprising.
“It’s been overwhelming the people calling me and saying they hate to see me go out of business and that i’ve helped them,” said Gordon “It’s been a great honor to work with people and help them.”
Gordon said that while people have expressed sadness at the store closing they have also expressed support for his decision to retire.
“People have called me and wished me luck retiring and it’s just really great,” said Gordon.
Gordon said that he is happy to see the building being put to good use.
“I’m glad I got to sell my building and it not sit here and fall down like a lot of these businesses in Hazard,” said Gordon, “I’m just so happy the building is going to be used because I live in Hazard and I love Hazard.
The last day Gordon’s 1 Hour Photo center will be open is May 24.