time touring some of the natural beauty in my hometown, I figured I'd take a stroll through one of the city's most beautiful historic districts. Now considered to be a lush oasis in downtown Lexington, Gratz Park was originally established outside of the city's limits in 1781.
Named for an early Lexington businessman, Benjamin Gratz, this historic neighborhood and park is now the crowning jewel in historic architecture of the city's downtown. Ever since I was a youngster, this was one of my favorite parks to lounge around in, twirling around the Maypole with other kids and daydreaming about ye olden times.
The park itself originally belonged to the oldest college west of the Appalachian mountains, Transylvania University. However, the school's main building was severely damaged by a fire and moved across the street, opening this space back up to the neighborhood. Now the park houses The Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and the Hunt-Morgan House, a house museum that teaches about early 19th century life in Lexington, during a time when it was deemed "The Athens of the West".
More Info: The Bluegrass Trust (Images: Smith Schwartz)