Lexington Ky is Known for It's Famous Race Horses and It's Camel Statue!
Central Kentucky is known for its famous racehorses … so why is there a camel statue in downtown Lexington Ky? This desert dweller stands in Phoenix Park on the southeast corner of Limestone and Main Streets, near the main library. It is only about 22 inches tall and sits perched atop a large pedestal. A clue can be found in the words etched on the sides of the base. They point the way north and south followed by the words “zero milestone.”
William Ingram sculpted the statue and its rider out of granite in 1926 and gave it to the Lexington Automobile Club as a gift to be used to designate the center of the city. In other words, the camel marks the zero milestone of our town. The camel was chosen to evoke those iconic ancient travelers, the nomadic bedouins. At one time, AAA, the American Automobile Association, used this guidepost when calculating the distance between Lexington and other destinations. Today, all mapping applications use some point that remains constant, but not necessarily the same spot.
It turns out that this city center statue has moved several times over the years. The granite marker originally stood outside the old Union Station at what is now Main and MLK Boulevard. It was later moved to the courthouse lawn and has been at its present location since 1990.
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