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Downtown Lexington Revitalization

Main st.
North Main before Restoration
Downtown Lexington
Downtown Lexington in 1971 . . .
. . . and now

In the early 1970s, concerted revitalization work of downtown Lexington began. In quick succession, HLF bought the Alexander-Withrow and Jacob Ruff Houses, the Central Hotel, the old Dold Building, brought them all up to par, and returned them to the private sector, each with perpetual protective easements. In 1974 the Foundation did the same with the Stonewall Jackson House and the adjacent Davidson House on East Washington Street. HLF also laid new sidewalks, using bricks that echoed handsome old patterns.

HLF recognized a citywide policy also was needed to finish the job and ensure permanent success. Historic Lexington took the lead in shaping and getting legislation for this effort. In 1971 a Historic Zoning District with strict regulations was established and in 1972, the downtown area was named to the National Register of Historic Places. In the 2000s, HLF worked to expand and strengthen the historic district.

Today's Lexington is the fruit of Historic Lexington Foundation's energy, vision, and zeal.

Photos above: West Washington Street and North Main Street, 1971; Main Street today (photo by Chris Weisler)

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