RAVENNA, Ky. — The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation announced Tuesday that the Anna B Milburn Charitable Lead Annuity Trust has contributed $50,000.00 to the Kentucky Rail Heritage Center project. The donation is a crucial step in the pre-development work for a 12,000-square-foot event center and multi-use facility that will be the focal point of the ambitious railroad-themed campus located in Estill County, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Rail Heritage Center, a major economic development initiative, is an adaptive reuse of 40 acres of the rail yard located in Ravenna, Kentucky, formerly owned and operated by CSX Transportation. The planned attraction will include an event space and restaurant, interactive locomotive restoration and display center, concert venue, walking paths and outdoor music pavilion.
The structure design is slated to include a 150-seat restaurant and a 300-seat banquet room as well as a flex space for other potential tenants. It will also include a sprawling patio area, overlooking the proposed concert venue and historic railroad shop.
Tony Milburn, founder and CEO of the Milburn Group, said the contribution is a significant step in the right direction for this major effort to begin redevelopment of the economy of Appalachian Kentucky.
The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, closed on the purchase of the 40-acre tract in October, and volunteers have been working ever since to clear the site and ready it for redevelopment. KSHC President Chris Campbell said the generous donation is another leap forward in the revitalization initiative.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of furthering this endeavor with the Milburn Group” Campbell said Monday. “Tony and his team immediately grasped the campus concept and had excellent input in their vision of the project. We are thrilled that their ideas closely coincide with ours.”
The Milburn Group and Kentucky Steam will collaborate with Work Architecture for planning and renderings, and Manning Construction for producing cost estimates. The collaboration will build on the vision laid out by renderings donated in 2018 by Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects. The cash donation will also help renovate a portion of the 100-year-old former-Louisville and Nashville Railroad yard office building located on the campus, creating a venue for Kentucky Steam and other collaborators to showcase the plans for the development, and to eventually establish an interactive center which can help springboard the long-term vision of the project.