Tour this national historic landmark, which introduced Greek-Revival architecture to the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains. The building served as the capitol of Kentucky from 1830 to 1910.
The History museum contains a wealth of information about Kentucky. There are lifesize dioramas, some of which you can walk into. From Native Americans through exploration, settlement, the discovery of coal, civil rights, several major wars, the Cold War to today. All are represented by their impacts on Kentucky's citizens and Kentucky's impact on the nation.
Born 1734, Died 1820. Entered Eastern Kentucky, 1767; Explored Bluegrass Regn, 1769-71; Guided Transylvania Company, Blazed Wilderness Trail, Built Fort Boonesborough in 1775; Directed Defense of the Fort, 1778; Emigrated to Missouri, 1799; Reinterred, with wife Rebeeca in Frankfort Cemeitery, 1845.
Sounds boring, but just think of what it means. At the age of 33, he started his career for which he is known, explorer of the transappalachian mountains. Then at the age of 65, he moved from Kentucky (south of Lexington) to central Missouri. While I've moved a lot in my life, it wasn't through uncharted wild lands. It wasn't by wagon and horse back.
In front of the Old Kentucky Statehouse is a sober reminder that being a politician can be a hazardous occupation. A bronze marker on the brick walkway in front of the Old Capital marks the spot where William Gobel was gunned down on January 30, 1900, the day before he was sworn in as Governor of Kentucky. He died from the gunshopt wounds shortly after taking office, making him the only State Governor in United States history who was assisinated while in office.
Wish they had one of these when I was a kid. What the heck, I'm still a kid at heart, so I can enjoy it anyways.
This is where wildlife (flora and fauna) and the classroom meet. The park has been open for about 10 years (1995). The layout is a visitor center with dioramas and live acquariums and indoor exhibits of animal habits and habitat. Then you take one of the hiking trails to see the animals where they live.
You will be introduced to a sample of the diverse environment where wildlife live in Kentucky. Streams, ponds, marshes and wetlands, brush fields and woodlands are all on the trails in this park. On the "education" trails (easy walking), you will be able to see examples of the wildlife and there are exhibits that show how we can help that wildlife survive and what we need to do to keep the environment from being destroyed. Parts of the park are like an open-air zoo where animals are exhibited without danger of being interfered with by the people on the trails.
Conservation, ecology and meshing wildlife within today's technologically driven world are the underlying themes of everything that happens at the Center.
The park encloses a small lake where children can learn how to fish and what species are in the area and what they eat and where they go in the winter.
There are also more strenuous trails aimed at the experienced/hardy hiker which take you into areas where the animals are free to roam.
All of this does not come cheap.... you must donate something or go away with your conscience bothering you. The park is only available to the public because of state-complemented private donations.
There are restroom facilities around the property and they have a couple of shelters that can be rented by the hour or for the day. (fairly cheap.... like $50 a day)
To get a different perspective on the city of Frankfort, KY, you might consider taking an aerial tour over the city. Choose a sunrise or sunset flight for special effects. Bring your camera and plenty of film (or extra digital pic-cards).
The planes are small four-seater props with wings over the fuselage (Cessna 172) to give you best view and scope. If you are not very good at taking pictures, you can even hire your own personal photographer. If you want them to take special pictures and you'd rather stay on the ground, they can provide that service also.
This is not cheap ($150-$300 per hour) but it sure is a unique opportunity.
The company is EAGLE WINGS AIR, family owned and operated in Frankfort.
As the sun rises and falls, the shadow of the sundial on this memorial passes over the names of the veterans who rose to the call of duty and fell as victims of death.
The names are those of Kentuckians but the visitors are from all over the world.
On or about the anniversary of the veterans death, the shadow falls across that name plate embedded in the cement plaza. This is that veteran's "memorial day".
The place is solemn, sobering and sad. I will be glad when the day comes that we will not need these visual reminders of nations' follies.
another good website about this project is:
Walking tour of downtown Frankfort.
The tour consists of 10 contiguous city blocks;
from Ann Street on the east to Wilkinson Street on the west;
from Wapping Street on the south to Broadway Street on the north.
Along Wapping Street, from Wilkinson to St. Clair:
218 Wilkinson... Greek Revival architecture
505 Wapping... the Wilkinson home was once a tavern
417 Wapping... architect also built spires at Churchhil Downs
407Wapping... Greek Revival home once used by military in Civil War
401 Wapping... the phrase "Dog is Man's best Friend" was born here
320 Wapping... Todd House, brother-in-law to President Madison
305 Wapping... Customs House was originally the Post Office then the Library
the Singing Bridge is at the corner of Wapping and St. Clair
Along St. Clair, from Wapping to Main:
201 St. Clair... First Baptist Church
Then the Court House and across the street the old Theater
Along Main Street, from St. CLair to Wilkinson:
326 Main... Morehead House
329 Main... Goodman House
333 Main... Coleman House
401 Main... Crittendon House, he was Governor,Senator,Attorney General
416 Main... Gothic architecture of the Presbyterian Church
218 Wilkinson... Liberty Hall, Georgian architecture
302 Wilkinson... Federal style of the Crittendon House
walk from Wilkinson north to Broadway.
Along Broadway Street, from Wilkinson to St.Clair:
413 Broadway... Kendall House, he was tutor for Henry Clay
318 Washington... Mcclure-Foster House now is Red Cross building
333 Broadway... Bibb Law Offices
north corner of Broadway and Lewis... Greek Revival architecture of Old State Capital
Depending on your interest, the tour takes at least an hour and probably two.
This is best done with one of the local "explorers" who will give detailed information about each building.
Contact Russ Hatter's Tours, 502-696-0607
We parked and crossed the apparently unused RR tracks to the Kentucky Historical Society Kentucky History Museum, which was something I had intended to visit anyway. We went to the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, but the admission also includes the Kentucky Military History Museum and Old State Capitol.
Hours Open Tuesday – Saturday 10-5
Youth (6-18) $2
Children 5 and under receive complimentary admission
is divided into eight main areas, chronicling life in Kentucky from prehistoric times to the present: First Kentuckians (10,000 BC-AD 1750), The Kentucky Frontier (1750-1800), The Antebellum Age (1800-1860), War and Aftermath (1860-1875), Continuity and Change (1875-1900), The New Century (1900-1930), Depression and War (1930-1950), and Many Sides of Kentucky (1950-today). Another area, Pure Kentucky, highlights the lives and contributions of famous Kentuckians through artifacts, from a boxing robe worn by Muhammad Ali...
They told me I could take photos as long as I did not use a flash but a lot of the photos that I took are a little dark.
After lunch, I came back and did some research in the library. I wanted Bob to go to the Old Capitol, but he didn't tour either the Old Capitol (which was included in the museum price) or the military museum.
Here are three prime examples of southern antebellum architecture, dating back well before the Civil War. They are all on different sides of the same intersection in Frankfort.
The Vest-Lindsey House was the boyhood home of George Graham Vest, who served in the US Senate for three terms, and in the Confederate Congress. He coined the phrase "Dog is man's best friend." It was also home of Daniel Lindsey, who served in the Civil War as a Union regiment and brigade commander, and later as Adjutant General of Kentucky. For tours, call the number below.
George Macklin was a prominent land-owner and coal dealer. Charles S. Morehead was governor from 1855-59, and his home was later owned by several important bankers and railroad tycoons.
This cemetery overlooks the city, and the Kentucky River that runs through it. Its most notable point of interest is the grave of Daniel Boone and his wife Rebecca. A number of other distinguished Kentuckians are here as well: Vice President Richard M. Johnson, artist Paul Sawyler, and 17 former governors.
Built in 1830, this building is the only state capitol taken by the Confederates during the Civil War. It is now operated by the Kentucky Historical Society. Of particular interest is the Greek revival staircase, held together by its own weight. This building, designed by Lexington architect Gideon Shryock, introduced the Greek Revival style in Kentucky.
When I visited in 1998, it had an exhibit commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Spanish-American War of a century earlier.
Completed in 1910, this is the new state capitol. Built in the neo-classic style, with 70 ionic columns, it shows Kentucky as a heroine, with five attendants: Progress, History, Law, Art, and Labor. The rotunda was influenced by that of Les Invalides in Paris (where Napoleon is entombed). This is one of the country's most attractive capitol buildings.
One of its unusual features is the Floral Clock. It's 34 feet across, and covered with thousands of flowers.
Visit the Kentucky history center and old state capitol and take a guided tour of the new state capitol, if time permits.
For a visitor with more time, visit the Lt. Governor's mansion, the Liberty Hall Historic Site, the Executive mansion, and the Kentucky Military History museum.
The history center was completed in1999. . It was built with many interactive displays and activities that fascinate even younger children. The old state capitol building is a short walk away.
Not quite as good as the view from Frankfort Cemetery, but this scenic overlook on US 60 east of town offers a well framed view of the capitol building. The rest of Frankfort is obscured by thick groves of trees.