Lexington History Center

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Lexington History Center
Lexington History Center - Lexington, Kentucky - DSC09088.JPG
Lexington History Center is located in Kentucky
Lexington History Center
Location within Kentucky
EstablishedOctober 2003
DissolvedJuly 2012
Location215 West Main Street
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Coordinates38°02′52″N 84°29′52″W / 38.047732°N 84.497751°W / 38.047732; -84.497751
TypeHistory museum

The Lexington History Center was a building housing several independent history museums in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. It was located in the former Fayette County Courthouse until 2012 when the city closed the building after progressively deteriorating lead paint and asbestos, along with mold were deemed to be a significant health concern.[1] Prior to the closing of the building, the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum moved to a new location on Georgetown Street. The building is currently being renovated into a multi-use commercial, tourist, office and event center. There are no current plans to include museums in the building once it reopens.


The building was opened as a museum center in October 2003 under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Lexington-Fayette Urban-County Government (Lexington, Ky.) and the Commonwealth of Kentucky that stipulated the municipal government would spend a "minimum $1,000,000" to renovate the Old Fayette County Courthouse as the Lexington History Museum—an amount that was never fulfilled. After evicting the Museums (see below) from the building, the city has committed to spending $30 million to renovate the building for commercial space.

The Lexington History Center was formerly host to several museums:

  • The Lexington History Museum showcases numerous exhibits regarding Lexington's history, and offers numerous programs tailored to all ages. Following the closure of the history center, the Lexington History Museum has utilized empty spaces in downtown and created pocket museums to house its exhibits.[2] The Lexington History Museum was the last organization to vacate the building, completing a move of its collections to a private warehouse in fall 2014.
  • The Lexington Public Safety Museum opened on November 20, 2004.[3] The museum features exhibits that explore the history of Lexington's police, fire and corrections and those that gave the ultimate sacrifice and became Fallen Heroes. The Public Safety Museum has not reopened in a new location.
  • The Kentucky Renaissance Pharmacy Museum is dedicated to the early history of Bluegrass region pharmacies. It has reopened in Frankfort.
  • The Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum, focusing on local African American history.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saving Lexington courthouse will preserve key part of community's history kyfoward.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Eblen, Tom (June 29, 2013). "Tom Eblen: Its home closed for now, Lexington History Museum plans to open 'pocket museums' throughout city". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  3. ^ History Lexington Public Safety Museum. Retrieved July 16, 2014.

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