Support Us Button Widget

Meet the new Marksbury family WayPoint Center

The new resource center in the East End is opening in the historical Palmer Pharmacy.

The WayPoint Center in the middle of construction, where historical about Palmer Pharmacy lined the walls.

The WayPoint Center in the middle of construction, where historical info about Palmer Pharmacy lined the walls. | Photo provided by United Way of the Bluegrass

In 1959, pharmacist + Civil Rights activist Dr. Zirl Augustus Palmer purchased a property at 400 E. 5th St., which would become the first pharmacy owned by a Black man in Lexington.

Palmer’s Pharmacy, Luncheonette, and Doctor’s Office opened in 1961, serving as a much-needed addition to the East End for people to receive medications and socialize with neighbors.

Today at 10 a.m., city + state officials will cut the ribbon on the new Marksbury Family WayPoint Center at the Historic Palmer Pharmacy, where Dr. Palmer’s legacy will be remembered and commemorated as his work lives on.

The outside of the renovated Palmer Pharmacy with a sign that says "Marksbury Family WayPoint Center."

The newly renovated building was made possible by a grant from the Marksbury Family Foundation, as well as ARPA grants. | Photo by Mark Mahan of Mahan Multimedia

The new WayPoint Center

The new WayPoint Center, which replaces its current one-room location in the Charles Young Center, spans 3,000+ sqft. Here, Lexingtonians can get access to resources like:

  • Personalized needs assessments conducted by counselors to ensure services are tailored to specific goals
  • Financial mobility counseling to support Lexingtonians in areas like budgeting, debt reduction, and establishing savings
  • Holistic in-office services such as free health screenings, assistance with Medicaid enrollment, and job seeker support through resume assistance and job fairs
  • Referrals to safety-net providers who can connect people with emergency food, utility assistance, or housing support
A photo of three people sitting on a couch, looking at a document.

Dr. Palmer was the first Black member of the UK’s Board of Trustees. | Photo provided by United Way of the Bluegrass

Remembering Dr. Palmer

According to Jenn Goble, United Way’s director of marketing, a large memorial to Dr. Palmer is located in the building’s lobby alongside a timeline of his work — not just his impact on medicine in the area, but also educating visitors about his other endeavors.

Images line the walls capturing the space’s history beyond its role as a pharmacy — it was a place of solace + community. And Dr. Palmer played a massive role in it. He was involved in organizations including the UK Board of Trustees, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and was also part of the Lexington Hustlers, one of the first integrated baseball teams in the South.

More from LEXtoday