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Cheapside Is Now Henry Tandy Centennial Park

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Karyn Czar
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Cheapside Is Now Henry Tandy Centennial Park

The name change was spurred by the group Take Back Cheapside which also lobbied to have statues of Confederate leaders John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckenridge relocated nearly three years ago. Thursday night, city council members voted unanimously to change the name of the park where the statues stood and where slaves were once sold outside the courthouse. The park now honors Henry Tandy, a former slave who became a free man and one of the most successful masons in Kentucky.

Tandy laid the brickwork in historic structures like the Opera House, the Carnegie Center for Learning, several churches and Lexington’s old courthouse. His work is still in the building’s foundation. Sean Ebbitt owns Bluegrass Tavern which sits in a row of bars and restaurants along the park. He and other owners had signed a petition supporting the name change. “I’m pro the name change. I think it’s a very positive thing and sets us on a path of a positive light.”

Cheapside signage will soon be changed to Henry Tandy Centennial Park soon and another process will begin to rename Cheapside Street. DeBrauan Thomas with Take Back Cheapside said the name changes are symbolic first steps in creating a welcoming city but that “there is still a lot of work to do to make it inclusive. It may not change some people’s views but it will hopefully inspire others to continue to do that work.”