The Old Kitchen Building is located on the edge of Gratz Park and
is a link between modern Lexington and its early history, as the
only surviving building from the original Transylvania College campus.
The building was constructed as classroom space in the early 19th-century.
It was deemed the "Kitchen" by the students of the college because
it was so inadequate as a classroom. This inadequacy led to the
construction of the larger Transylvania main building in 1816 in
the center of Gratz Park. This main building,
the "Kitchen," and a third building on the opposite side of Gratz
Park were the original buildings of the Transylvania College campus.
The main building was destroyed by fire in 1829, after which the
campus was moved with the construction of Old
Morrison in 1833. By 1857 the other college building in Gratz
Park had disappeared, leaving only the Kitchen from the original
Old Kitchen Building, now the
offices of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation|
Photographs by Eric Thomason,
courtesy of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation
The Old Kitchen is a rectangular, brick building with a hipped
roof. It has been altered little since the early 19th century,
with the exception of some windows, doors and modernization of
the building. After the college campus was moved, the Kitchen
was used for a variety of functions over the following century
and a half. During the early years of the 20th century, the building
was the site of the Ah-Sin Club, a club composed of elderly men
living in the Gratz Park area who met regularly and played cards.
The building was later acquired by the Lexington Parks and Recreation
department for use as a community center. Most recently, the building
has become the offices of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation,
which continues to serve as an advocacy group for the preservation
and maintenance of area landmarks and historic buildings.
The Old Kitchen Building is located at 253 Market St. in
the Gratz Park Historic District. For more
information about the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation
please call 859-253-0362 or visit its website.
Lexington Home | Main
Map | List of Sites |
Learn More | Itineraries | NR Home
Essays: Athens of the West | Civil
War | Architecture | Lexington