Constitution Square Historic Site is a 3 acre park and open-air museum in Danville, Kentucky. From 1937 to 2012, it was a part of the Kentucky state park system and operated by the Kentucky Department of Parks. On March 6, 2012, the Department of Parks ceded control of the site to the county government of Boyle County, Kentucky. It was at this time the Fiscal Court had the vision and leadership to assume responsibly for this corner stone of our downtown and paramount place in the Commonwealth’s history. The park is home to the site of the signing of the Kentucky Constitution, a frontier-style jail and meetinghouse, as well as the oldest post office west of the Alleghenies. In addition, the Governors Circle monument honors our state’s leaders. These areas of the park are open to the public during the day for self-guided tours. Interpretive signs help visitors navigate the interesting history that has unfolded here since 1780s.
The park celebrates the early political history of Kentucky. It features replicas of three buildings that stood on the original city square, including the courthouse that housed ten constitutional conventions between 1785 and 1792; these conventions ultimately led to Kentucky’s separation from Virginia. It also includes the original building that housed the first U.S. post office west of the Allegheny Mountains. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 2, 1976. Over the hundreds of years this area has seen many manifestations and uses including urban renewal, the African American Business District and a community gathering space.
Located in the heart of downtown Danville, Constitution Square Park is a beautiful slice of our past hidden among our colorful, historic Main Street shops and restaurants. The park’s spacious grounds and abundant shade trees make it the perfect venue for family reunions, and church gatherings. We often host educational field trips, large festivals and groups of tourist as well. And the park is always home to those looking enjoy nature or peaceful lunch.
While honoring our past and this parks’ valuable place in history, it is also of great significance that this site continues to facilitate progress and growth for Boyle County and Kentucky. Today the park is home to the Danville Boyle County Economic Development Partnership which is comprised of the Boyle County Industrial Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Commission, Heart of Danville Main Street Program and a visitors center. A grant secured in 2012, collaboratively executed, facilitated the buildings parallel to second street to be renovated and house offices and meeting space. The buildings known as Fisher’s Row 1 and 2, Goldsmith House, Watts Bell and the Schoolhouse are home to these organizations are not only a brilliant use of space but also a worthy venue to showcase our community and business services. This effort captures the quintessential spirit of our community in that the past is always honored but the future remains in focus.
The story of Kentucky begins in Danville and we must continue to preserve, honor and care for this significant home to our heritage.