Frankfort, Kentucky – Our State Capital

Frankfort, the state capital of Kentucky, is a small and beautiful town that manages to integrate a sense of old-fashioned community alongside the bustling reality of an important political epicenter.

All Frankfort photos courtesy of Rose Marie Guy. (Thank you!)

It is reputed that the name of this town was derived from an early event during the 1780’s involving an Indian raid at a ford in the Kentucky River. One of the settlers who was killed was named “Stephen Frank”, and people became accustomed to referring to the site of the raid as “Frank’s Ford”. As time went on, this evolved into the name “Frankfort” that we know today.

Before I get into the details about the Capital site itself, I will share a little more Frankfort history with you. During the Civil War, Union troops built fortifications overlooking downtown Frankfort on what is now called Fort Hill. In what seems like a contradiction, the Confederate Army also occupied Frankfort for a short time. On February 3, 1900, Governor-Elect William Goebel was assassinated while walking to the Capital to his inauguration. Daniel Boone was known to spend a good bit of time in this area, and upon his death, was buried in Frankfort. Some of the best-known citizens that have called Frankfort home are actor, Johnny Depp and artist, Paul Sawyer.

In 1792, Frankfort was selected to serve as the State Capital, which brought about an acceleration in city growth. By 1794, the town had its own post office, and by 1796, plans were underway to build a mansion to house the Governor. This structure was completed in 1798. Still in use today, it is reputed to be the oldest official executive residence in the United States.

I think it still looks beautiful . . . classic architecture never goes out of style!

In 1829 the “Old Capital” was designed by Gideon Shryock, featuring Greek Revival architecture. The building was the third state capital and it served Kentucky as its Capitol from 1830 until 1910. The capital building that we know today was built in the 1930’s on the former site of the State Penitentiary, and some of the original stone from the prison was used in this building. In 1967, an addition to the tower building was completed.

There are many interesting things to visit at the State Capital . . . beautiful gardens:

Including an interesting floral clock:

One of my personal favorite things to see at the Capital is the First Ladies doll collection. The photo shown below is only a small portion of that collection.

Guided tours are offered, on the hour and half hour, from Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.) Reservations for groups are suggested. Only self-guided tours are available on weekends.

For more information, please contact:

Kentucky State Capital
700 Capital Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-3449
Alt Phone: 502-564-3449
Website: www.historicproperti…

Last modified on: June 2nd 2012.