Gardens to Gables

Category Archives: Bluegrass

The Demise of Hempstead, Fayette County, Kentucky

Long before its association with clothing, chocolates, or the civil disobedience of actor Woody Harrelson, hemp (without the prefix “industrial”) was a mainstay of Kentucky agriculture. One of my ancestors grew hemp on his Montgomery County farm decades before the Civil War, and in 1869 Kentucky produced Read More

Remains of a Country Estate: C.F. McMeekin’s Oakwood Farm

The ache that engulfs me when a historic building is needlessly demolished pales in comparison to the visceral pain of seeing farmland chopped, desecrated, and turned into to miles of pavement. Lexington provides the perfect backdrop to examine this transition, but occasionally a vestige of those long-ago Read More

Santa Claus is a Bookworm: The 2016 Version of Books Related to Buildings

My reading time these days is…limited – as is my time to scout for new additions to my library. I missed my favorite book sale of the year, held by the Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (housed in a lovely early 20th century Neoclassical Read More

A Story Not Captured: Demolition in Paris, Kentucky

Storytelling is a selective art, and since buildings and landscapes form the foundation of my stories, I cannot capture them all. Yesterday afternoon, while perusing Facebook (you know you do it too…), I flinched at the photograph of a bulldozer tearing into a small house Read More

Rosehill: A Greek Revival Gem in Richmond, Kentucky

The American Revolution was not only a political liberation, but a cultural one too – and I think the best way to visualize that cultural revolution is to look at the architecture produced in this country during the 19th century. The classical world was put Read More

Bygone History and Romance: The L & N Passenger Depot in Greensburg, Kentucky

I am not a trainspotter. That said, I completely subscribe to the romance of travel  by rail (even having experienced the seediness of rail travel in many European countries) – a transportation option not readily available in the Bluegrass. Perhaps a tiny bit of the Read More

Photosynthesis for the Soul: The Mathews Garden at the University of Kentucky

Science was not  my strongest subject in school, but chlorophyll always fascinated me. In my mind’s eye, scores of thirsty plants absorbed the rays of the sun with zeal after winter’s gloom – nothing short of magic. Not unlike those plants, I too gravitate toward Read More

Remembering Blue Grass Stockyards, Lexington, Kentucky

When I took a break from writing the afternoon of January 30, 2016, I was immediately transfixed by the malevolent black clouds visible through the windows. And when I ventured onto the Internet, to all of the reports of explosions and fire ravaging the Blue Read More

A Background Full of Meaning: Historic Houses and Historic Photographs

Old photographs for sale in antique or second-hand stores always give me pause. I wonder about the unknown names associated with those forgotten faces, and also  – who buys these photographs? Someone in search of insta-ancestor? Historic photographs not only provide a glimpse into the Read More

Obituary for the Lost: 1041 South Limestone, Lexington, Kentucky

Change, I think, is one of the most difficult things to accept in life, yet it is a constant force (just like death and taxes). Change moves and works on the landscape around us like the tide, ceaselessly lapping and ever so slightly shifting, until Read More