Gardens to Gables

Category Archives: Lexington Kentucky History

A Requiem for Virginia Avenue, Lexington, Kentucky

The chain link fences have gone up, making visible the divide between what was and what shall be – from tired reminders of former neighborhoods to blank earth, littered by concrete and gravel. And with the demolition of these houses, one of the last vestiges 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

Vanishing in Plain Sight

It’s nearly impossible to stay abreast of all of the changes to Lexington’s historic neighborhoods – demolitions, new construction, and remodelings that transform (for better or worse) the exterior visage of a building – small, minute changes occur everyday that can slowly enhance or erode Read More

The Clamor of the Wrecking Ball: Two Historic Houses Fall on Lexington Avenue in Lexington, Kentucky

One of my favorite daydreams – and mental exercises – involves  the possibility of time travel. Should I be hurtled back into Kentucky’s history, would I be able to find my way around, using landmarks to chart my path? I always wonder if I would recognize our family Read More

A Process with Possibilities: Avoiding Demolition in a Local Historic District

Buildings, like people, evolve, grow, and even shrink. Of course, this cycle of change happens to buildings through the actions of people. Inaction, commonly referred to in its final phase as “demolition by neglect” also acts as an agent of change on a historic building. Read More

The Backseat Files: The Most Beautiful Oriel in the World, Lexington, Kentucky

I went to a lot of museums growing up – but the most compelling exhibits that lingered with me were the streets I traveled down, whether walking around my small hometown, or watching in rapt attention as a traveler in the backseat. One of those 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

The Creation and Evolution of a Secret Garden in Downtown Lexington, Kentucky

The restoration of a historic building is a process of love and labor – one that has been made wildly popular by HGTV and other media outlets. I love watching a historic building come back to life – but the rebirth of the very land Read More

The House that President Patterson Built: A Whimsical Delight on East Loudon Avenue, Lexington, Kentucky

A house is much more than just shelter. Historically, homes have functioned as symbols of expression, wealth, and power – for those who could afford such brick and mortar displays – and a house on a  corner lot in town commanded maximum exposure. And in Read More