Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky
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Official flag of Lexington, Kentucky

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Official seal of Lexington, Kentucky

City flag City seal
City nickname: "Horse Capital of the World"
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Location of Lexington, Kentucky

Location in the state of Kentucky
County Fayette
Mayor Teresa Isaac
 - Land
 - Water
285.5 sq. miles / 739.5 kmē
284.5 sq. miles / 736.9 kmē
1.0 sq. mile / 2.6 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density

Time zone
 - summer (DST)
Template:Coor dms
Official website: http://www.lfucg.com/

Lexington, Kentucky is the "Horse Capital of the World," located in the heart of the Bluegrass. It is the second largest city in Kentucky and has the second largest metropolitan area (after Louisville).

Lexington is home to the Kentucky Horse Park, Keeneland race course, a JIF peanut butter plant which produces more peanut butter than any other factory in the world, Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky. UK's basketball program is immensely popular in the city; for example, the area code (859) spells out UKY. The University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team has won more games than any other team in college basketball.



Lexington was founded in June of 1775, 17 years before Kentucky became a state. A party of frontiersmen, led by William McConnell, camped on a branch of Elkhorn Creek at the location known today as McConnell Springs. Upon hearing of the colonists' victory at Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775, they named their campsite Lexington to commemorate the first battle of the American Revolutionary War. Due to the danger of Indian attacks, permanent settlement was delayed for four years. In 1779, Colonel Robert Patterson and 25 companions came from Fort Harrod and erected a blockhouse. Cabins and a stockade were soon built, making the fort a place of importance. The town of Lexington was established on May 6, 1782, by an act of the Virginia General Assembly.

By 1820, it was one of the largest and wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains. So cultured was its lifestyle, Lexington gained the nickname "Athens of the West."

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Downtown Lexington

Law and government

In 1974, the governments of the city of Lexington and Fayette County, Kentucky combined to create the current Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

Lexington has an elected mayor and city council-style of government.


Lexington's mayor is Teresa Isaac, who has served in the post since 2002.

Urban County Council

The Urban County Council is a fifteen-member legislative group. Twelve of the members represent specific districts and serve two-year terms; three are elected city-wide as at-large council members and serve four-year terms. The at-large member with the highest number of votes in the general election automatically becomes the Vice Mayor who, in the absence of the Mayor, is the presiding officer of the Council. The current council members are:

  • Mike Scanlon: Vice Mayor
  • Chuck Eliinger II: At-Large
  • David B. Stevens, MD: At-Large
  • George Brown, Jr: 1st District
  • Jacques Wigginton: 2nd District
  • Dick DeCamp: 3rd District
  • Linda Gorton: 4th District
  • Bill Farmer, Jr: 5th District
  • Kevin O. Stinnett: 6th District
  • Bill Cegelka: 7th District
  • George Myers: 8th District
  • Jay McChord: 9th District
  • Sandy Shafer: 10th District
  • Richard Moloney: 11th District
  • Ed Lane: 12th District


Within a day's drive of 75% of the population of the United States, Lexington is strategically located at the intersection of Interstates 64 and 75. Lexington is accessible by air with approximately 100 direct and nonstop flights from Blue Grass Airport.

Fayette County consists of 283 square miles (733 km²) of gently rolling plateau in the center of the inner Bluegrass Region. The area is noted for its beauty, fertile soil, excellent pastureland and horse and stock farms. Poa Pratensis (bluegrass) thrives on the limestone beneath the soil's surface, playing a major role in the area's scenic beauty and in the development of champion horses. Numerous small creeks rise and flow into the Kentucky River.


The mean average temperature in Lexington is 54.9 °F (13 °C). Annual precipitation is 45.68 inches (1.2 m). Lexington and the Bluegrass have four distinct seasons that include cool plateau breezes, moderate nights in the summer, and no prolonged periods of heat, cold, rain, wind, or snow.


Traditional products of the area include horses, tobacco and handcrafts, but an increasing diversity of products and services contributes to a healthy economy. Major employers in the Lexington area include:

Kentucky state sales tax is 6 percent. Groceries and horse sales are exempt. Hotel tax is 6 percent.


The estimated 2000 population of Lexington-Fayette was 260,512. The estimated 2000 population of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA), comprised of Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Scott, and Woodford Counties, is 424,778.

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 260,512 people, 108,288 households, and 62,915 families residing in the city. The population density is 353.5/km² (915.6/mi²). There are 116,167 housing units at an average density of 157.6/km² (408.3/mi²).

The racial makeup of the city is:
81.04% White
13.48% African American
0.19% Native American
2.46% Asian
0.03% Pacific Islander
1.21% from other races
1.58% from two or more races
3.29% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 108,288 households out of which:
27.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them
43.5% are married couples living together
11.5% have a female householder with no husband present
41.9% are non-families
31.7% of all households are made up of individuals
7.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older

The average household size is 2.29 and the average family size is 2.90.

The age distribution is 21.3% under the age of 18, 14.6% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $39,813, and the median income for a family is $53,264. Males have a median income of $36,166 versus $26,964 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,109. 12.9% of the population and 8.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 14.3% of those under the age of 18 and 8.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

There are over 230 churches and synagogues in Lexington, representing 38 denominations.





  • WVLK, (News/talk) - 590 AM
  • WLAP, (News/talk) - 630 AM
  • WLXG, (Sports) - 1300 AM
  • WRFL, (Alternative) - 88.1 FM
  • WUKY, (Classical/jazz) - 91.3 FM
  • WMXL, (Mixed music) - 94.5 FM
  • WBUL, (Country) - 98.1 FM
  • WLKT, (Rock) - 104.5 FM


Area colleges and universities

Public high schools

  • Bryan Station High School
  • Henry Clay High School
  • Lafayette High School
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tates Creek High School

Private high schools

  • Lexington Catholic High School
  • Lexington Christian Academy
  • Sayre School
  • Trinity Christian Academy
  • Blue Grass Baptist School

Sports teams

Notable natives

Famous residents of Lexington have included John Hunt Morgan, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Henry Clay, Jefferson Davis, John Breckinridge, John Cabell Breckinridge, Belle Brezing, Mary Todd Lincoln, actor Jim Varney, photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard and author Guy Davenport.

Sites of Interest

Sister cities

Lexington has four sister cities:

External links

Flag of Kentucky

Commonwealth of Kentucky

State capital:



Cumberland Plateau | The Bluegrass | Northern Kentucky | Pennyroyal Plateau | Cincinnati metropolitan area | Louisville metropolitan area | Western Coal Fields | The Purchase

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