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[photo] 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 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 campus.

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.

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