Group protests demolition of historic house on UK Campus

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees is moving forward with a plan to tear down five buildings to make room for two new dorms. But not everybody is happy about it.

A group of people gathered in front of the Hamilton House on Wednesday morning, protesting the demolition of several historic buildings on campus.

The group waged their protest as construction crews worked behind them.

Once the buildings are torn down, the land will be used for new dorms.

The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation organized the protest. Leaders of the group say the city will lose a lot more than a building.

"It's been a fixture in downtown for 150 years. It's a building in good shape. You simply look at the energy you lose, the encapsulated energy you lose, when you demolish it," said Jason Sloan, director of preservation for the organization.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton says the university tries to preserve historic buildings when it can - but sometimes it is not possible, and leaders have to make room for new construction.

"Fact of the matter is, some of the buildings don't have the technology, some don't have the classroom space, some don't have the collaborative space, some don't have the living space, to maximize student success or help our faculty and staff maximize their success," Blanton said.

Holmes Hall, Jewell Hall, Hamilton House, Keeneland Hall and Boyd Hall are all being torn down as part of the project.

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