Fayette County

Downtown Lexington building glows as part of LexLights!

The McAdams and Morford Building along West Main Street is illuminated as part of the LexLights! program in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The LED lights can be easily changed to accommodate different seasons or holidays.
The McAdams and Morford Building along West Main Street is illuminated as part of the LexLights! program in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The LED lights can be easily changed to accommodate different seasons or holidays. aslitz@herald-leader.com

The McAdams and Morford building is now lit up thanks to a new downtown Lexington program.

The 1849 building on the corner of Main and Upper streets was recently kitted out with new LED lights for its awnings and 11 columns. The building, which is home to Harvey’s Bar and Hugo’s Ultralounge, received a $3,775 grant to add the lights as part of LexLights!, an initiative spearheaded by the Downtown Lexington Partnership and the Downtown Lexington Management District. The grant program also helps downtown property owners replace dim or burned out lights.

One of the building’s owners says the lights have added a lot of drama.

“I think she is the most handsome gal on the street,” said Jim Ross, an architect who co-owns the building with Joe Rosenberg. “She’s the ‘main’ in Main Street.”

McAdams and Morford Drugstore, owned by William Lucas, was a fixture in downtown Lexington for decades. Ross bought the building in 1978 and renovated the second and third floors for his firm, Ross Tarrant Architects. The firm was there until 10 years ago when it moved to East Main Street. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a cast-iron facade, a rare architectural feature in downtown Lexington.

Ross said for just a little bit of money, the historic building now has a new look.

“It’s amazing what you can do for very little money considering the dramatic impact of lights,” he said.

The total cost for the lights was $7,569.

One of the first LexLights! participants was the City Center office tower on Main and Limestone streets.

Christ Church Cathedral received a lighting grant to put lights with color-changing capability on its bell tower. Court Square on Main Street is installing colored lights around the base of that building. There will also be new color-changing lights on many pedways, including ones over Vine Street and Broadway, according to downtown officials.

Dim or burned out lights have been replaced in several buildings, including the Community Trust Bank, Gray Construction, Main and Rose condominiums and the Esplanade building on the corner of Esplanade and Main streets.

LexLights was born from surveys of downtown businesses and residents who said better lighting was a top priority.

  Comments