The Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden is named for the famed jockey whose house stood on this site. It was developed to commemorate the contributions of African Americans to Thoroughbred racing and to help revitalize this East End neighborhood. Many Kentucky horsemen lived in the East End, which was also home to the Kentucky Association, Lexington's first important racetrack.
The Art Garden, the downtown trailhead for the Legacy Trail, includes public art, an amphitheater for performances and gatherings and this rain garden. Designated as a legacy project through a community-wide process, it was planned by Arts Power, Leadership Lexington (a program of Commerce Lexington), NorthEast Lexington Initiative (NELI) and Friends of Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden. It has been completed with support from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government; Kentucky Transportation Cabinet; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky; The J.M. Smucker Company; W. Rogers Company; Keeneland Association; S.L. Gimbel Foundation; Blue Grass Community Foundation; and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.