Gardens to Gables

Category Archives: Tourism

Farmer’s Bank Building, Smiths Grove, Warren County, Kentucky

I like to “collect” buildings by type, and the historic, small town bank is one I am always excited to find. Most are no longer in service, and many are crumbling. But a few sparkle with renewed life, and the Farmer’s Bank Building, now a Read More

EMBA Building, Sturgis, Kentucky

My first trip through Union County, in Western Kentucky, occurred during a week of spring floods. Our plan to travel along small, meandering rural roads close to the river was often thwarted by standing water. Although our circuitous route missed the county seat of Morganfield, Read More

Ruined but not Abandoned: Corfe Castle, England

Abandoned architecture is a hot item on social media – and serious business for some photographers and urban explorers. The ruins of this country, though, are much more recent than those of England (as are most things), with many fewer centuries of history and stories. Read More

Travels in Virginia: A Giant Coffee Pot on the Side of the Road

A giant silver coffee pot on the side of the road possesses a certain sort of magic, almost certainly the power to encourage drivers to conduct a hasty U-turn to make sure that what they saw was, yes – a building shaped like an enormous Read More

Escape to the Catskills: Exploring Callicoon, New York

It’s been a exhaustively hot summer in Kentucky this year. Although graced by the technology of central air conditioning, I’ve thought with longing about children’s books I read decades ago that described the decampment from urban cores to shady mountain retreats (I believe the Bobbsey Read More

A Late (and Humid) July Sojourn in Mobile, Alabama

I’ve never really considered Kentucky to be southern – one of the things I love most about this Commonwealth, in addition to its geographic contradictions, is its ability to defy categorization and labels. And after spending five days in Mobile, Alabama, I return to the Read More

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision in Spring Green, Wisconsin: Taliesin

My first Frank Lloyd Wright experience was shortly after college, when my mother and I visited Fallingwater, the iconic house he designed for Edgar Kaufmann, and Wright’s nearby Kentuck Knob, both in rural southwest Pennsylvania. I’ve since returned to both sites, my enchantment with the Read More

The Historic Masonic Theatre of Clifton Forge, Virginia

Tourism  – especially heritage tourism – can be a tough business for some communities. Small towns find their tourism dollars cut, if not eliminated, and spending money to highlight a town’s history might seem like a poor allocation of funds. I would argue the exact Read More

Inspired Incarceration: Two Historic Stone Jails in Kentucky

“I hear the train a comin’, It’s rolling ’round the bend…” The first two lines of “Folsom Prison Blues,” sung by Mr. Johnny Cash, not only brought the man in black fame, but it catapulted California’s second oldest prison into popular culture mythology.* There are Read More

Creative Inspiration at British Pubs

I’ve had some lovely times in pubs across Britain (I even remember some of them!) – a social occasion made richer, usually, by the building housing the pub.  Towns and villages across Britain lay claim to a number of quirky, endearing buildings which accommodate public Read More