LEXINGTON, Ky. - The sign standing at the corner of Third Street and Midland Avenue in Lexington reads “Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, coming Spring 2012.” But the lot remains empty.
Community organizers have been planning the art garden, named for a Kentucky Derby-winning African American jockey, for several years. Initial construction bids came in higher than expected, but Isaac Murphy Board Chairman David Cozart says the project is back on track.
“We now have in place funds for the construction of the park and, if the funding is strategically allocated, we have enough for two signature art pieces that have been chosen for this space.”
Community leaders and East End neighborhood residents gathered at the Isaac Murphy site for a Christmas tree lighting, an event Cozart says shows the community is still very interested in the project.
“This community stills sees value in it. This community absolutely sees the value in honoring Isaac Murphy and those other African Americans in the equine industry. And the city sees the value in the East End neighborhood and the rich history that is within it.”
Re-bidding of the construction work will take place next spring. The state is also expected to approve $300,000 in funding in January.