By Alexa Webb
Lexington is filled with unique art, culture, and history. Whether you are visiting from out of state, a town over, or just taking a stroll on your lunch break, expand your knowledge of downtown Lexington with these 10 fun facts!
1. The Roxy Night Club was Once a Bank
The Roxy, an EDM nightclub in downtown Lexington, was a former two-story bank. Built in 1905, The Roxy combines old-world architecture with 21st-century music and light production creating a unique experience. Gather your friends and dance the weekend away at The Roxy.
2. Mary Todd Lincoln was Born and Raised in Lexington
First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s home is located on West Main Street in downtown Lexington. The home was built in the early 1800s and served as the Todd family home beginning in 1832. Mary Todd lived there before moving to Illinois where she would soon meet her husband, Abraham Lincoln. The home is also the first house museum to honor a first lady in the United States. Book a tour today!
3. Transylvania University was the First College Established West of the Alleghenies
Transylvania University, a private liberal arts college located in the heart of downtown Lexington, was established in 1780. ‘Transy’ was the first college west of the Allegheny Mountains and the 16th college in the United States.
4. A Kentucky Bourbon Trail Destination is Located Downtown
Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company produces award-winning beer and spirits right in the heart of downtown Lexington. From ales to bourbon, the Lexington Brewing Company has a lot to offer. In 2012, the company became part of the world-renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience with the opening of its Town Branch Distillery. Book a tour and learn more about this unique “brewstillery.”
5. Old School Coffee is located in a Former Schoolhouse
Enjoy a nice cup of coffee while reminiscing about your elementary school days at Old School Coffee. Located in the historic Dudley Square, the building was constructed in 1881 where it is served as Public School #3, operating from 1881 to 1925. Stop in to enjoy a Ronie scone and a delicious coffee on your next lunch break.
6. The First African Baptist Church is the oldest African American Church in Kentucky
Founded in 1790 by Peter “Old Captain” Durette, a Baptist preacher and slave, the First African Baptist Church is the oldest African American congregation in Kentucky and the third oldest in the United States.
7. Rupp Arena is the Second Largest Basketball Arena in NCAA D1 Sports
Home to the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball team, Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, holds a capacity of 23,500 and is the second-largest college basketball arena in NCAA Division 1 sports. On any given game day, that capacity is nearly reached as the Big Blue Nation comes to cheer on their Wildcats.
8. There are 30+ Murals Around Downtown Lexington
If you’ve ever been downtown, you’re sure to have come across a mural or two. From the massive, building-sized portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the backside of the famous Kentucky Theatre, to the brand new horse mural on the side of High Knoll Wealth Advisors‘ freshly renovated building on Short Street, there is art everywhere you look. The muralists come from all over the world and there are constantly new pieces popping up. For more information, check out VisitLex‘s mural challenge here.
9. Downtown Lexington Hosts a Pride Festival
The Lexington Pride Center hosts the Lexington Pride Festival which will hold its 14th festival Saturday, June 25th from 11 AM to 10 PM. The festival is a community celebration to empower and bring awareness about LGBTQIA+ Kentuckians with live music, food, crafts, and informational booths.
10. The Pepper Rickhouse Once Housed 100,000 Barrels of Bourbon
Located in the Distillery District, the Pepper Rickhouse is a historic five-story building that once housed 100,000 barrels of bourbon. It is the district’s largest site on the National Register of Historic Places. This unique industrial area is now home to breweries, distilleries, the famous Goodfellas pizzeria, an ice cream shop, and much more.
After you have soaked in all this fun knowledge about the art, culture, and history #downtownlex has to offer, go experience these incredible places. Check out our website and sign up for our newsletter for more awesome events and places to see in Downtown Lexington.