The Richmond Register

Local News

January 24, 2013

Preservationists circulating petition, requesting study

RICHMOND — Members of the Madison County Historical Society and others interested in preservation are petitioning fiscal court to consider renovating and reusing two historic buildings it owns on the courthouse square.

On Thursday, the petition’s online version had collected 52 names.

The petition can be accessed by going to, clicking on browse and then entering Madison County Fiscal Court in the search field.

The petition originated at a Tuesday meeting called by the historical society attended by 28 people. The assembly also adopted a resolution calling on fiscal court to create a nine-member committee to study ways to preserve and reuse the Miller House and the Old Creamery at the corner of First and Irvine streets, northeast of the courthouse.

The committee would consist of three members appointed by the county, three appointed by the city and three by the historical society.

Because the Miller building was once an important city property and part of the Downtown Richmond Historic District designated by the National Register of Historic Places, the city should have an interest in its preservation, society members said.

The meeting was called after historical society members heard unconfirmed reports the prevailing sentiment of fiscal court favored demolishing the Old Creamery, which the county recently acquired, to make way for a parking lot.

One fiscal court magistrate, Greg King, and one city commissioner, Robert Blythe, attended the meeting, but neither spoke.

The Miller House lies inside the city’s H-1 (Downtown Historic) Zone, in which special permission is required before private structures may be altered or demolished. However, the restriction does not apply to county- or state-owned property. The Old Creamery lies just outside the H-1 Zone.

The Miller House was built around 1818 as a home for Col. John Miller, an early settler of Richmond, who donated the land on which the courthouse stands. The city was named for his hometown, Richmond, Va., capital of Kentucky’s “Mother State.”

The building later served as Richmond City Hall and police headquarters, then was home to the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, according to “Madison County Rediscovered,” a survey of historic structures published by the historical society in 1988.

The Old Creamery, as its name implies, was once a milk-collection point for local dairy farmers. Jerry Dimitrov said Tuesday she remembered delivering milk there as a child with her mother.

The building also was once Richmond’s post office, “Madison County Rediscovered” states. It later was used as a law office.

It was built as a “double house” about the same time as the neighboring Miller House, according to the local historic properties survey.

At Tuesday’s meeting, historical society president Jackie Couture projected an aerial photograph made of downtown in 1976, the U.S. Bicentennial, when the district was placed on the National Historic Register. Since then, 23 of 65 buildings have been demolished or destroyed, she said.

We are losing our history,” Couture said, adding the materials and craftsmanship of the two buildings could not be duplicated.

County officials may be content to let the buildings “rot to the ground” instead of preserving them, Dimitrov said.

Although they may not be in good shape, the buildings are not beyond repair, she said. White Hall, the home of Cassius Clay, had been in worse condition before it was restored.

I never dreamed they could put it back together the way they did, Dimitrov said.

Some at the meeting expressed fear the county would quickly demolish one or both of the buildings unannounced,

However, Charles Hay, the society’s former secretary/treasurer, said Judge-Executive Kent Clark once assured the society the county would not act precipitously.

Historic preservation has economic benefits, said Richmond artist Ronald Gosses.

Restoring old structures costs no more than new construction, he said. It increases the value of surrounding property, conserves resources, benefits surrounding businesses and helps revitalize business districts by attracting visitors and counters urban sprawl.

Bill Robinson can be reached at or at 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results