LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The city of Lexington is giving new life to an old building. The Palmer building in the East End is known for its rich history.
Mayor Linda Gorton handed the keys to the building to United Way of the Bluegrass here in Lexington. The Palmer building has served as a jewel to the East End community here in Lexington. The space will go from an abandoned building to a busy community hub ready to serve the neighborhood
“ I just believe this is a proud moment in this neighborhood that instead of tearing this building down, we’re using it to better our community,” said resident Tania Whitfield.
When the unexpected happens United Waypoint Center aims to be the guide for people living in underserved neighborhoods and people of color.
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“Because as a mom myself, I’m you know, I want better for my children, but I don’t feel like we must go outside of our neighborhood to get better,” Whitfield said.
United Way in Lexington is breathing a new life into the Palmer building in the East End which was owned by the city’s first Black pharmacist. Dr. Zirl Palmer began filling prescriptions there in 1961.
“We got our next leaders here, our next doctors, lawyers. You know, anything can come out of this neighborhood. If people just believe that,” Whitfield said.
The building was at one point slated for demolition. But, now the Marksbury family waypoint center is poised to make the building a place of healing again where those struggling can get help with jobs, housing, food, and more.
“So when you work on projects and a neighborhood with the history and with the demographics at the east in hand, you have to be intentional and you have to be focused on making sure that you don’t displace folks and that you’re creating a neighborhood resource and opportunities for the folks,” said councilman James Brown.
Councilmember brown is also from the community he works in and said that’s why he’s so dedicated to the people.
“I think there’s still a lot of work to do in this neighborhood. I think this is a huge I wouldn’t say first step, but it’s a huge step forward,” Brown said.
Currently, there are Waypoint Centers in the West End of Lexington, the Charles Young Center in the East End and the Paris Bourbon County YMCA.