Breckinridge, John C., Memorial (NRIS 97000705)
Courthouse Lawn. Jct. of N. Upper and E. Main Sts.,
Kentucky. County/parish: Fayette.
1 contributing object.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places
July 17, 1997.
Part of Civil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS
Also known as:
- John C. Breckinridge Memorial
- The John C. Breckinridge Memorial, on the courthouse lawn of Lexington, Kentucky, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 17, 1997, as part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS. It commemorates John C. Breckinridge, who was born and died in Lexington. He was Vice President for James Buchanan and ran against Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 United States presidential election, winning nine Southern states. He served in the Confederate States Army, and was the last Confederate States Secretary of War, fleeing the country after the South lost.
The memorial was done by New York's Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company. The pedestal is made of granite, with the statue done in bronze. Breckinridge is seen standing contraposto The state government of Kentucky funded the construction of the monument.
Breckinridge's memorial was built in 1887, 24 years before the John Hunt Morgan Memorial, also on the courthouse lawn and part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky MPS.
The statues had stood on Main Street on the same plot of ground where slave auctions were held before the Civil War. The Fayette County Courthouse has been moved, the building is now under renovation and will serve as an tourism, entertainment, and office hub.
In 2010 the monument was moved about 50 feet to a new location facing Main Street. This was done as part of the Cheapside pavilion construction project.In November 2015, a committee, the Urban County Arts Review Board's, voted to recommend removal of both the Breckinridge statue and the Morgan statue. In February 2016 Lexington mayor Jim Gray announced the statues would stay, but later advocated to remove them after receiving pressure from local grassroots organizing. The monuments were removed October 17, 2017. After a city council vote in November 2017, the city voted in favor or relocating the statues of Breckinridge and Morgan to the Lexington Cemetery.
The relocation was completed in July 2018. The bases for the statues, security cameras, and moving costs were funded by private donations. Breckinridge’s was placed in the his family’s burial area in Section G. Morgan’s was placed in the Confederate section of the cemetery. (read more...)
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/97000705