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Spotlight on: Cynthiana, Kentucky

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Spotlight on: Cynthiana, Kentucky

Cynthiana, Kentucky is the county seat of Harrison County, and is one of the commonwealth's oldest cities. On December 10, 1793, an act of the Second General Assembly of Kentucky established Cynthiana. The city was named after Cynthia and Anna Harrison, daughters of Robert Harrison who had donated land in what is known as the Public Square.

The city was later host to two battles in the Civil War, the first on July 17, 1862 and the second on June 11 and 12, 1864. During the second battle, half of the town was destroyed by fire. All of the buildings along East Pike Street, with the exception of the hotel, was burned.

Today, Cynthiana is home to over 6,000 residents and a bustling industrial and commerce park. It is also the home of the 3M Post-It notepad and a downtown brimmed with buildings decorated in the Federal and Victorian architectural style.

View 31 photographs and a peek into the histories of several notable downtown structures and church by continuing here.

The Episcopal Church of the Advent, located at 122 North Walnut, was completed in two phases. The edifice was finished in 1855, and the square tower was completed in 1860. Bishop Benjamin Rosworth Smith provided the Gothic Revival design based on Stoke-Poges Church in England. Constructed of locally sourced limestone, the church is in the form of a Latin Cross. The gabled front facade features three narrow lancet windows, enveloped by a projecting stonework that forms an equilateral arch. The first recorded Episcopal worship services were conducted in 1837, and a parish was formed ten years later. A half-acre lot on Walnut Street was purchased in 1852 and the churhc was constructed three years later.

1 Episcopal Church of the Advent


2 Episcopal Church of the Advent


3 The former Cynthiana Movie Theater, at 124 South Walnut Street, was constructed in 1920 in the Art Deco architectural style. The firm that designed the theater also designed the Kentucky Governor's Mansion and the Lexington Lafayette Hotel, and marked a departure of styling for the city.


4 The Christian Church of Cynthiana, which dates to 1800, is located at Mill and Main streets.




6 Buildings along the north side of East Pike Street were constructed between 1870 to 1929.


7 The Reister Building at the corner of East Pike and South Walnut streets. It was constructed circa 1917-1920 on the site of McMurtry's Livery Stable.


8 The classically facaded Harrison Hotel at 104 North Main Street, which dates to 1923, was where the McKnight's gained fame.


9 Historic properties along South Main Street. The Jett Building, known as the Masonic Building today, was constructed in 1900 and is a two-story, seven-bay smooth stone Classical Revival building.


10 The building at the right, at 208 South Main Street, was a four-story Renaissance-style brick whiskey warehouse dating to 1850. It survived the Civil War attacks by Morgan and was later converted for retail use.


You can view the remaining 21 photographs and a peek into the histories of several notable downtown structures and church by continuing at UrbanUp.

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