Gardens to Gables

Category Archives: Historic Preservation

Wrecking Ball Watch: 203 East Fifth Street, Lexington, Kentucky

This not a post about Miley Cyrus and her 2013 hit – although there are some similarities between the breaking of a relationship and the fracturing of a neighborhood. Demolitions, neglect, absentee landlords – each element chips away at the structure and fabric of a Read More

Demolition Files: Versailles High School, Woodford County, Kentucky, 1927-2017

I detoured off of the bypass around Versailles yesterday afternoon to drive through town  – bypasses aren’t known for their pleasing aesthetics. After dilly-dallying a bit, I set off for Lexington, and caught in a dense row of cars heading east,  I couldn’t stop when Read More

Houses by Mail: The Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan

I’ve enjoyed a lifelong love affair with mail-order catalogs. The arrival of the mail meant a 1/4 mile hike down the gravel driveway to the big metal mailbox (an enticing target for mailbox baseball players), and back up the hill again holding the treasure (secured Read More

One Ruin Among Many: Duncan Hall, Nelson County, Kentucky

Architecture is more than just shelter – and to those of us who love historic buildings – architecture is more than just ornament. Architecture is imbued with symbolism by the people that create and shape it, and historic buildings serve as artifacts of the time in 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

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

Peering Behind the Facade

Whenever I am asked to talk about historic architecture, I always stress the meaning of the facade of a building. It doesn’t matter whether it is a house or a store, the facade is the face of the structure, and it is there that the Read More

Echo Hall, Augusta, Kentucky

My oldest sister insists I possess hoarder tendencies. I disagree, of course – I recycle my newspapers, you can see the floors in our house, and I regularly donate bags of stuff to Goodwill. But when it comes to photographs, the charge might ring true Read More

“C” is for Column: An Alphabet Soup of Architectural Terms, Part 3

Columns, I think, more than any other architectural element, are the stuff of dreams, glory, and status. Not too surprising, given that most of the columns we see on buildings around us trace their lineage back to Classical architecture, and those innovative Greeks and Romans. Columns Read More

Thirty Years Old and Still Relevant: McAlester’s Field Guide to American Houses

Every profession has its own language and often, its own genre of books. I may be a bit partial, but the books I’ve known and loved dealing with architectural history must be among the best non-fiction tomes ever published. Naming just a small selection of Read More