Gardens to Gables

Mid-Century Motel Musings: The Hollyhill Motel, Lebanon, Kentucky

I’m fascinated by mid-century American motels – complete with motor court, a fun name, and ideally, an appealing neon sign. These standalone motor courts are cool, but what’s really intriguing are the few examples I’ve seen of mid-century motels built around a historic 19th century Read More

It Makes Economic Good Sense: Help Save the Federal Historic Tax Credit!

As any regular reader of this blog will know, I grew up with a love of history and of old buildings. I believe strongly that our communities are stronger when historic buildings are preserved and utilized. But one of the few tools we have to Read More

Old Mulkey Meeting House, Monroe County, Kentucky

I’ll likely never help forge a community out of a wilderness in quite the same manner as the first EuroAmerican settlers in Kentucky. (Spending hour after sweaty hour ridding the land of invasive honeysuckle is satisfying work, but…not the same.) The sheer magnitude of building Read More

The Kirk Apartments, Maysville, Kentucky

When I was around eight years old, I fantasized about living in an apartment. Just me and my mother (and maybe a dog or two). Apartment buildings seemed so foreign and exotic to me – and as the youngest child, the idea of having my Read More

The Uncertain Fate of Carnahan House at Coldstream Farm

Years before a farm on the northern side of Lexington, Kentucky, was billed as the University of Kentucky’s “premier business location in the heart of the world-famous Kentucky Bluegrass Region,” it was a storied horse farm “where thoroughbred Derby winners were raised for many years.” In Read More

The Tree that Nelson Spared

I played a little hooky on Monday. My work schedule has been pretty overwhelming lately, and although my mind dances with subjects I want to write about, I can’t seem to find the time for this blog. But on Monday, I took the time – Read More

Back(stories): The Thomas B. Watkins House, Lexington, Kentucky

The Lexington builder/architect John McMurtry, who popularized the Gothic Revival style in Kentucky, died in 1890. His surviving buildings include the house he designed in 1887 for his daughter, Anne, and her husband, Thomas B. Watkins. The late Italianate brick T-plan is a “fine and Read More

Lynch Oral History Project, September 25-27, 2017

What makes place so important to some people? And what is it about some places in Kentucky that draw former residents home, again and again? Learning about the connection between people and communities, people and place is one of the perks of my job, and Read More

Helena United Methodist Church, Helena, Mason County, Kentucky

The rusticated concrete blocks arrived at Helena Junction on the train from Carlise, Kentucky. Church members transported the blocks in their own horse-drawn wagons to the site of their new church. The stained glass windows – in various sizes and shapes – were made in Read More

Demolition Files: Hedgeland, Madison County, Kentucky (1815-2017)

In the mid-19th century, it became popular in rural America for farmers of a certain class to name their farms – usually with evocatively pastoral names – sometimes referencing landscape elements found at the site. The Cedars, Elmwood, Mt. Pleasant: all names of Bluegrass farms Read More