EKU Acquires Historic Elmwood

Elmwood, Historic Residence in Richmond

Eastern Kentucky University has acquired Elmwood, a historic residence located across Lancaster Avenue from the Richmond campus.

A deed has been recorded transferring the property from the trust created by the estate of the late Emma Watts to the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation, as a gift to the University. The Foundation will reimburse the Watts Trust approximately $400,000 for recent improvements to the property.

EKU President Doug Whitlock said the University is “committed to maintaining the name of Elmwood and the beautiful vista along Lancaster Avenue. Further, we will use the property only for non-commercial purposes consistent with our mission. Any new construction will be behind the house and of architectural design in keeping with the existing structures. The property will be a wonderful enhancement to our campus and is of immense strategic importance to the future of the University.”

No decision about the use of the house has been made, Whitlock added, “though it would make a remarkable alumni/development center.”

Elmwood, named for the elm trees that stood on the 20 acres of land, was built in 1887 and is believed to be the state’s only Chateauesque-style house outside Louisville. Consisting of approximately 9,000 square feet, the three-story structure is one of four residences in Richmond designed by Cincinnati architect Samuel E. Des Jardins.

 “My appreciation goes to trustee Mrs. Kathy Burnam Flood, trust attorney Clint Wimberly and Vice President for University Advancement Joseph Foster,” Whitlock said. “Board Chair Gary Abney has been deeply interested in this project, and I also appreciate his support of our efforts.  The entire Board of Regents and the Board of Directors of the EKU Foundation have shown an unqualified endorsement of this project.”

Published on August 29, 2011