Although 2015 will be a year where I’ve stayed firmly planted on this side of the Atlantic (barring any last-minute winning lottery tickets that come into my possession), I can’t seem to stop yammering on about the architecture of England and Kentucky. On Sunday, November 15, 2015, at 2 p.m. in the University of Louisville’s Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium, I will be talking some more. The (free!) talk, “From the Bluegrass to Britain and Back Again: Lessons of the English Country House,” is this year’s Louisville Historical League’s Fenwick Lecture in Historic Preservation and is co-sponsored by the University of Louisville Center for Arts and Culture Partnerships and the history department. Free parking is available nearby in the visitor lot to the right of Grawemeyer Hall off the Third Street entrance to Belknap Campus.
The lecture was established in memory of architectural historian Jason Fenwick, a Mississippi native who spent most of his adulthood working on preservation issues in Kentucky.Fenwick joined the Kentucky Heritage Council as an archaeologist in 1977, doing countywide archaeological surveys before transferring to the restoration grants program to work on the preservation of historic buildings. From 1981 to 1983 he served as state curator, coordinating the Kentucky Executive Mansion restoration and rehabilitation for Gov. John Y. Brown and Phyllis George Brown. He later served as a Kentucky Heritage Council preservation specialist, a City of Louisville Landmarks Commission member and an architectural historian with the National Park Service’s historic rehabilitation tax credit program in Washington, D.C.
In 2014, I was accepted in the Attingham Summer School, run by the Attingham Trust. An amazing experience, it forced me to find a connection between the grand, high style architecture of the English Country House, and the vernacular landscape that I study in Kentucky. The relationship between these two vastly different landscapes is the main focus of my talk – and I do mean a talk, not a lecture. So if you happen to be in Louisville on Sunday – come on by!