Location of Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky.
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|o Type||City Mayor/Manager|
|o Mayor||Robert Blythe|
|o Total||19.3 sq mi (49.9 km2)|
|o Land||19.1 sq mi (49.5 km2)|
|o Water||0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||971 ft (296 m)|
| o Estimate |
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||2404614|
Richmond is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population was 35,894 in 2018. Richmond is the third-largest city in the Bluegrass region (after Louisville and Lexington) and the state's sixth-largest city. It is the eighth largest population center in Kentucky, when including metropolitan areas. Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south-central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond-Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.
The City of Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller from Virginia, a British American who had served with the rebels in the Revolutionary War. According to tradition, Miller was attracted to the area by the good spring water and friendly Native Americans. That year, the Kentucky legislature approved moving the county seat from Milford to land owned by Colonel Miller. The residents of Milford adamantly opposed the move, which led to a fist fight between Dave Kennedy (representing Milford) and William Kearly (representing Richmond). The county approved the move in March 1798. On July 4, 1798, the new town was named Richmond in honor of Miller's Virginia birthplace. Richmond was incorporated in 1809.
Kentucky was a border state during the Civil War and stayed in the Union. On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in the Battle of Richmond. Troops under Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the soldiers of Union General William Nelson. Out of Nelson's 6,500 men, only 1,200 escaped; the rest were all captured. One historian called this battle "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war." [page needed]
In 1906, Eastern Kentucky State Normal School was founded in Richmond to train teachers. There were eleven members of the first graduating class in 1909. By 1922 it had expanded its curriculum to a four-year program and was established as a college. It added graduate-degree programs in 1935. In recognition of its academic departments and research, in 1965 the institution was renamed as Eastern Kentucky University.
In the late 1990s and through the first decade of the 21st century, Richmond had a commercial and residential boom related to other development in the Bluegrass Region. As of 2009, Richmond was Kentucky's seventh-largest city, moving up four places from ranking in the 2000 census as Kentucky's eleventh-largest city.
Richmond is located in Madison County in the Bluegrass region of the state. The Blue Grass Army Depot lies to the southeast of the city. The city is served by Interstate 75, U. S. Routes 25 and 421, and Kentucky Routes 52, 169 and 388. I-75 runs to the west of downtown, with access from exits 83, 87, and 90. Via I-75, downtown Lexington is 25 mi (40 km) northwest, and Knoxville, Tennessee is 147 mi (237 km) south. U.S. Route 25 forms the eastern bypass around the city, leading northwest to Lexington and south 14 mi (23 km) to Berea. U.S. Route 421 parallels U.S. 25 on the eastern bypass of the city, leading northwest to Lexington (with U.S. 25 and I-75) and southeast 34 mi (55 km) to McKee.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (50 km2), of which 19.1 square miles (49 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2)(0.73%) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Richmond has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 27,152 people, 10,795 households, and 5,548 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,420.4 people per square mile (548.3/km²). There were 11,857 housing units at an average density of 620.3/sq mi (239.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.30% White, 8.27% African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.09% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.21% of the population.
There were 10,795 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.6% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.78.
In the city, the population was spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 31.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 13.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,533, and the median income for a family was $36,222. Males had a median income of $30,817 versus $22,053 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,815. About 16.6% of families and 25.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those aged 65 or over.
Richmond operates under a council-manager government. The citizens elect a mayor and four city commissioners who form the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners is the legislative body of the city government and represents the interests of the citizens when applicable. The Board of Commissioners appoints a city manager, who administers the day-to-day operations of the city.
Richmond is located on a concurrency with U.S. Route 25 and 421. The two routes run north to Lexington and diverge approximately five miles south of the city. U.S. 25 connects the city to Berea and Mount Vernon in the south. U.S. 421 connects to McKee in the south east. State Route 52 connects to Lancaster in the west and Irvine in the east. State Route 876 serves as a beltway around the business district of the city, and State Route 388 runs north of the city to the north end of the county. Interstate 75 passes through western Richmond, and connects the city to Lexington in the north and Knoxville, Tennessee in the south. I-75 has three exits in the city. The U.S. 25 connector, signed as S.R. 2872 and commonly known as Duncannon Lane, connects I-75 to U.S. 25 south of the city.
The city has numerous parks, the most prominent being Lake Reba Recreational Complex. Paradise Cove, the city's aquatic center, is located in the complex, along with Adventure Falls Miniature Golf and Batting Cages, separate regulation sports fields for football, soccer, baseball and softball; a horseshoe pit, and a playground.
The majority of the city's high rises are located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), which include the 20-story Commonwealth Hall, which is the tallest building in Richmond, the 16-story Keene Hall, the 13-story Telford Hall. Two 12-story buildings, Todd Hall and Dupree Hall, were torn down in 2017.