Home Of Kentucky's Finest
"Justice, Education, Industry"
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Named for||Richmond, Virginia|
|• Type||City Mayor/Manager|
|• Mayor||Robert Blythe|
|• Total||20.57 sq mi (53.28 km2)|
|• Land||20.32 sq mi (52.63 km2)|
|• Water||0.25 sq mi (0.65 km2)|
|Elevation||971 ft (296 m)|
|• Density||1,701.93/sq mi (657.12/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• 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 home to Eastern Kentucky University. In 2019, the population was 36,157. 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. The city serves as the center for work and shopping for south-central Kentucky. In addition, Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond-Berea, Kentucky Micropolitan Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.
Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller from Richmond, Virginia. A British American, Miller served with the rebels in the Revolutionary War. According to lore, he was attracted to the area by its good spring water and friendly Native Americans.
With the original county seat of Madison County being Milford, Kentucky, Miller successfully lobbied the Kentucky legislature to move it from Milford to present-day Richmond. Although the residents of Milford strongly opposed the move, the county approved the transfer 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 remained in the Union. On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Battle of Richmond took place. Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the Union General William Nelson, capturing or killing 5,300 of his 6,500 men. 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. The school graduated its first class of 11 teachers in 1909. In 1922, it was established as a four-year college and in 1935 added a graduate degree program. In 1965, the institution was renamed Eastern Kentucky University.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Richmond saw significant growth, becoming the state's seventh-largest city in 2009. 
Although the majority of Richmond's population identify as white, the small town has a great variety of ethnic backgrounds and cultures. The majority of residents in neighborhoods East of downtown such as East Irvine Street, E Street, Elm Street, and Hill Street identify as African American. Areas west of downtown such as Turpin Drive, Sizemore Drive, Madison Avenue, and 3rd Street are classified as predominantly African American neighborhoods as well.
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, Kentucky 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.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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 is a generally safe city with the chances of being a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 253, while the chances of being the victim of a property crime is 1 in 32. West End neighborhoods such as Turpin Drive, Sizemore Drive, Madison Avenue, and 3rd Street have a higher crime rate. East End neighborhoods such East Irvine Street, E Street, Elm Street, & Hill Street have higher crime rates as well. Crimes such as robbery, drug trafficking, burglary, assault, and murder occur more often in these neighborhoods.
The Richmond Police Department began to notice more organized crime taking place in the small town in the mid-1990's. A fear of gang violence surged when a 16 year old male juvenile was shot multiple times on Moberly Avenue in the summer of 1995, along with an increase of robberies and drive-by shootings. These crimes were linked to local gang activity, mainly in the East and West Ends of town. A local gang called the "Kruks" or "TDPs" (Turpin Drive Playaz) began terrorizing residents.
The Kruks became infamous in the 1990s for their violent ways of operating in the community. In 1997, members of the Kruks were charged in the fatal beating of Ricky Noland. The gang members fatally beat Noland behind an apartment complex on Ballard Drive, where they left his body. The Richmond Police determined that the murder was gang related, as well as drug related.
Gangs began to evolve in the late 1990s and early 2000s as big city gangs such as the Hoover Criminals and other Crips associated gangs began to appear in Richmond. Police began to receive multiple calls reporting assaults. Crips gang members began to harm people wearing their rival gangs (The Bloods) color red. Eventually these gang related assaults began to lead to shootings, some fatal. Teachers at Madison Central High School began to notice signs of this new kind of gang activity among students.
In 2001, the Louisville Gang Task Force began to assist the Richmond Police Department in investigating gang activity in town. Gang task forces determined that most of Richmond's gangs identify as Crips, the Hoover Criminals to be more specific. The Hoover Criminals wore the colors orange and blue to represent their gang. They are rivals to all gangs under the Bloods card and Neighborhood Crips card. The Hoover Criminals were also confirmed to be heavily involved in the Crack/Cocaine trade.
As of June 2021, the Richmond Police say that gang activity is much less active but is very much still present in town.
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.
The mayor is elected for a term of four years. Each city commissioner is elected for a term of two years. The term of the city manager is indefinite.
Richmond is served by the Madison County Public School System. In 1988 the Richmond Independent School District merged into the Madison County school district.
Richmond has a lending library, a branch of the Madison County Public Library.
The Richmond Register is published on Tuesday through Saturday publication. The Eastern Progress is a weekly student publication of Eastern Kentucky University
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: U.S. Route 25, State Route 876, and S.R. 2872.
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 169 heads northwest toward Nicholasville. State Route 388 runs north of the city to the north end of the county and Boonesborough. State Route 876 serves as a bypass around the business district of the city and heads west toward Kentucky Route 595, which continues to Round Hill and Kirksville. State Route 1156 heads northeast and connects with State Route 169 at Valley View. State Route 1986 runs northeast of Richmond to Union City and Doylesville. 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. State Route 2881 connects at State Route 52 at Caleast, runs through southern Richmond, and heads south to Berea.
Central Kentucky Regional Airport is a public airport located in Madison County between Richmond and Berea. It consists of a 5,001 by 100 ft asphalt runway.
Foothills Express, operated by the Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, provides the Richmond Transit Service bus service within Richmond, the Big E Transit Service on the EKU campus, Madison County Connector service to Berea, and local and intercity demand-responsive transport.
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 downtown business district includes many Victorian-style structures including the Glyndon Hotel.
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.
The 2,000-seat EKU Center for the Arts was completed in 2011 on Lancaster Avenue.