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Spotlight on Lawrenceburg: Efforts to 'beautify' the city's downtown area are paying off

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Posted at 2:10 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 19:42:39-05

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — LEX 18 is shining a spotlight on Lawrenceburg.

All this week, we'll be featuring stories on what makes the city special, including highlighting local restaurants, the love for Kentucky bourbon, and some interesting festivals.

Lawrenceburg, in Anderson County, is the 35th largest city in the state with a population of 11,728.

In 2020, the city celebrated its bicentennial. It was officially incorporated way back in 1820. The community was originally known as Kaufman's Station after the German immigrant who first settled in the area.

In 1827, it was renamed Lawrenceburg after William Lawrence, a local tavern owner.

Efforts in recent years to make the city's downtown more appealing are paying off. So much so, they need more space.

"When we do Christmas, it's like stepping back in a Hallmark movie," said Mayor Troy Young, a Lawrenceburg native, as he talked about the downtown area.

He was also the sheriff of Anderson County before retiring and then serving as mayor.

"Living here my entire life, you remember empty buildings and things like that."

Now, they're experiencing the opposite.

"The biggest problem we have now is, we're out of space," Mayor Young said.

He says they get calls weekly with people wanting downtown store space.

"It's no secret that downtown, Main Street, is really a great place to be these days."

Amanda Schoonover has some of that coveted space. She owns Chick A Dee's Speciality Shoppe Boutique on Main street.

"My husband and I made an investment in downtown Lawrenceburg by buying a building and business because we really believe in this community," she said.

Schoonover is also active in helping others achieve those same goals, as chair of the board for the Lawrenceburg Economic Development Authority.

Across the street, at J. Bailey and Sons, owners John and Debbie Bailey have been busy for about three years buying, selling, and trading all sorts of antiques and collectibles.

John said his objective was to restore the building and make it part of the community downtown.

"We wanted to have something to do in our retirement, and this is what we do," he said. "I don't want to have a museum in here. I want you to be able to buy stuff. I don't want you to come back next year and the same stuff be in here."

Mayor Young said when the pandemic hit and everything was shut down, they re-did all of their sidewalks to beautify downtown.

"There are thousands of people that pass by here. and we want to make sure when they pass by, they stop and stay," he said. "It's always another hurdle, to go up one more rung on the ladder, just to see what we can accomplish. And I love to set goals and definitely love to accomplish those goals."