As you begin your tour, please enjoy the Blue Grass Trust's recording of Frank X Walker reading his poem, "Ode to the East End." The poem is displayed as a mural on the side of the MET, featured as the beginning of this tour and located at 576 E Third Street.
Before the Civil War, the land on which the East End neighborhood now sits was mostly dotted with large estates owned by Lexington's elite. These estates, on the outskirts of the then-smaller city, sat on large tracts of land. After the Civil War, these larger parcels were divided into smaller parcels and neighborhoods for recently freed African Americans to rent, purchase, and build more modest housing. The East End, as we know it today, was once a collection of these neighborhoods, small sections named "Gunntown," "Kinkeadtown," and "Goodloetown," to name a few. Thanks to the talented and driven Black professionals in the neighborhood, it was also a center for creation and growth for the racing industry in Kentucky, now a dominant part of Kentucky’s culture and economy. Take this tour to learn about the jockeys, teachers, churches, and nationally recognized musicians, as well as some of the historic built fabric in which they lived and worked---all of which played an essential part in forming Lexington and Kentucky as we experience it today.