A Race Against Time for Kentucky's Bluegrass Country

Exurban development on the farmland adjacent to the city of Lexington, KY threatens one of America’s great cultural landscapes. Since the 1960’s, population growth has outpaced the provision of urban services, contributing to the construction of subdivisions and shopping malls on the outskirts of Kentucky’s second largest city. Yet, in this same area, more than 450 farms raise famously swift thoroughbred horses on a diet of bluegrass, the plant for which the region is named. Starting in the late 1990’s, a number of these horse farms were sold and converted into housing developments, accompanied by the demolition of historic structures including tobacco barns and commercial buildings in Lexington. In response, a coalition of preservation advocates has been working to incorporate preservation into regional planning initiatives.

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