The Kentucky Military Institute (KMI) was a renowned traditional military preparatory school in the United States, established in 1845.Under the direction of its superintendent, Richmond, the school flourished until the late 1960s. At that time, a combination of factors such as the growing dissatisfaction with the military and the increasing tuition fees caused financial difficulties for KMI and other military schools. The main campus in Lyndon, Kentucky, located just outside of Louisville, was the first to experience the effects of this decline. In 1932, KMI announced that Venice, Florida had been chosen as its winter headquarters.
During this period, cadets from KMI made what is now the Venice Centre Mall their winter home. However, by 1970, enrollment had decreased and operating costs had increased, leading to the decision to close the winter quarters. The KMI ended its winter sessions after that quarter and closed for good in 1973.The three main buildings have since been redesigned for contemporary use. The gym is now the Venice Little Theater; the bedroom is the Venice Centre Mall; and the administrative and classroom building is Summerville at Venice, a retirement center.
The Florida campus was moved multiple times in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before closing in 1924.It reopened its doors the following year as the Kentucky Academy and became a non-military co-educational school.Unfortunately, it soon merged with Kentucky Country Day School and KMI's doors closed permanently in 1971.Despite its closure, KMI remains an important part of American history and a reminder of how quickly things can change.