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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Charles Young Park and Community Center
Reference Number 15000413
State Kentucky
County Fayette
Town Lexington
Street Address 540 East Third Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 2/9/2016
Areas of Significance Ethnic Heritage--Black
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The Charles Young Park and Community Center (FA-NE-753) meets National Register Criterion A. It is locally significant as an important part of the neighborhood known as Lexington's East End. The Park's significance is evaluated within the historic context "African American Neighborhoods in Lexington, Kentucky, 1865-1965." The laws and social customs that defined the "Jim Crow" era, which began when African Americans acquired universal citizenship in 1865, forced blacks to occupy separate activity spheres from whites until the middle 1960s. In Kentucky towns, African-Americans erected a community that stood alongside the community of whites, in which most of the same activities occurred: schooling, worship, commerce, as well as various forms of entertainment and recreation. The Charles Young Park provides an important physical and spatial indication of the existence of the East End community, and the importance that a public place holds for any community - for recreation and civic gathering. The establishment of the Park in 1930 signals some acknowledgement of the town's black community by the Lexington community at large. Further recognition of the East End neighborhood came 5 years later, when the City applied for a Public Works Administration (PWA) grant to build the Park's Community Center. From its inception, the facility played an important role in the lives of the neighborhood's youth, where they could gather and socialize. There is a strong integrity between the Park's significance and its physical condition today. The significance of the Community Center's architectural design has not been formally evaluated for this nomination, but the local historic preservation office regards the building as having potential eligibility. Planners factoring the building into development plans should consider that view in their interpretation of the property.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria