Exquisitely preserved in the heart of Lexington’s urban core is a moment’s refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life.
A park surrounded by some of Lexington’s finest examples of early architecture greets the visitor in
The park and it’s surrounding homes are Lexington’s first locally designated historic district. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
This Federal house was built in 1816 for a stonecutter from England, Peter Paul II. In 1838, Alexander Moore owned the house and rented it to a confectioner. Maybe that explains the yummy color!
Wooden pegs rather than nails were used to join the original window frames and shutters that are intact and have been carefully preserved.
A new iron gate frames the entrance to a courtyard shared by both houses.
Alexander Moore built this Federal townhouse in 1836. Mr. Moore ran a stationery store on Main St. and sold the first school books to the city of Lexington.
The architectural gems surrounding Gratz Park are visual symbols from a gracious era when the most prominent families of the Bluegrass lived here.
Hope House (circa 1841)
Dudley House (circa 1879)
The Bluegrass Trust was founded in 1955 by a spirited group of Lexington citizens who were determined to protect, revitalize and promote the special historic places in our city.
The plaque serves as a visual symbol of civic pride that is meant to signify respect and appreciation for the historic value of the properties. It calls attention to buildings of architectural or historical significance that are fifty or more years old.
They saved the Hunt-Morgan House below and restored it inside and out, to its original 1814 appearance. The home was built for John Wesley Hunt, one of the earliest industrialists and merchants to come to Lexington. Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and Nobel Prize winning geneticist Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan also have ties to the home.
Hunt-Morgan House (circa 1814)
Today, the house stands as a testimonial to the beginning of the Bluegrass Trust and the birth of the preservation movement in Central Kentucky.
At Limestone, Second and Upper, one block from Gratz Park, is the noteworthy Gratz Park Inn, Lexington’s only Historical Boutique Hotel.
When our guests come to town, this is where they love to stay. It is also home to Jonathan’s, Mr. & Mrs. Porter’s most favorite place to celebrate & entertain.
Taylor looks quite relaxed in the front courtyard. She’s probably ordered lunch!
Just around the corner & down a couple of blocks, you will find yourself in the heart of downtown.
Plenty of shopping & dining alfresco.
But my favorite way to spend a summer evening with the MR. is dinner at Le Deauville...
and a movie at the old Kentucky Theatre.
Add some red licorice...
and then snuggle with my honey in the red velvet seats!
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is just a short drive away, stay for lunch, a tour, & tasting of course! There is so much to do here in the Bluegrass & I hope you've enjoyed this little tour. You're all welcome to stop in at PorterRanch anytime!
Oh...I almost forgot to mention, if you like horses, we have plenty!
Here is what other visitors had to say...
- Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...
- WOW what a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing your hometown with us, it is all so chic and lovely. The statues in the fountain are so fun and I love the gardens. The red lacquered door above the black lacquered barn doors are FABULOUS, love them. I also love the horse picture. SO sweet! I hope you are having a great labor day weekend with your family and enjoying the last few weeks of summer! Talk to you soon!
- September 6, 2009 8:54 PM
- Juju from Tales of Whimsy said...
- My husband is from Louisville so we are always in KY around the holidays. These beautiful photos have me convinced I have to visit Lexington. I'm sort of ashamed that I haven't already.
- September 6, 2009 9:20 PM
- Juju from Tales of Whimsy said...
- I did check out Bardstown that last time I was there. Ever been to Bardstown?
- September 6, 2009 9:22 PM
- Linda Merrill said...
- Thanks for the tour, have never been there!
- September 6, 2009 10:30 PM
- Renae said...
I can see there are so many fun places to visit in your neck of the woods! I have only driven near Lexington via the Interstate going to see son at college a few years ago. I would love to sit down at one of those yummy looking cafe's! Maybe one day!
- September 6, 2009 10:40 PM
- A Gift Wrapped Life said...
- I think I would fit quite well into your gorgeous Lexington.....yes, definitely. I always thought I was a southern girl at heart ( or was that Parisian/). Lovely post Lisa, as always such fabulous photos.
- September 6, 2009 10:59 PM
- Michelle said...
- Hmm...maybe I do like painted brick...and the shopping looks good too!!
Thanks for the tour!
- September 7, 2009 1:03 AM
- b. said...
- oh... so much to look at!! i love that red door w/ the house painted blue!
and i love all the brick sidewalks!!!! so much charm!
- September 7, 2009 2:10 AM
- Styling by Coty Farquhar said...
- Hi Lisa,
Could you please look for a nice house there for me. I moving to your part of the world.
It's gorgeous !!
- September 7, 2009 8:01 PM
- GrannySmithGreen said...
- Hello kindest blogger in all of blogdom! Thank you for your very kind message. I am feeling much better. I even spent the weekend in the country--too bad it wasn't your bluegrass, but it was divine! I must spend some quality time in Lexington. Definitely looks like my kind of town!
- September 8, 2009 12:14 AM
- Jo said...
- Lovely, lovely! A visit would be just perfect with you as my tour hostess ~ when is a good time to arrive? :)
- September 8, 2009 2:06 PM
- Alicia said...
- Breathtaking photos Lisa. If this doesn't inspire a Visit to Lexington, nothing can. Thank you for sharing your lovely watercolors as well. A truly talented lady we are gifted with.
- September 8, 2009 10:36 PM
- Elise said...
- Hi, lovely post ! I really like your blog, thank you so much for sharing it ! Best wishes and lovely to meet you
- September 9, 2009 12:36 PM
- annechovie said...
- So enjoyed this tour, Lisa. My grandmother is a Kentucky native and I've been to Lexington a few times, but you showcased some lovely spots I have never seen. Thanks for your sweet comment and support today as well!
- September 9, 2009 2:55 PM
- My Notting Hill said...
- I've been to Louisville but not Lexington. It looks wonderful!
- September 9, 2009 9:33 PM
- JMW said...
- We dined at Jonathan's Saturday night after the UK/Vanderbilt game! We didn't stay at the Inn this time around, but we have in the past and I absolutely love it! And, I recognized an architecture professor from UK in the photo of the historic preservation society - several of may friends studied under him in the early 90s. Thanks for the post - I'll always hold a special place in my heart for Lexington.
- February 1, 2010 1:16 PM
- Lisa said...
- Next time y'all come to town we will meet you for a drink in the bar! It's our favorite place. How about those Cats!
- February 1, 2010 1:36 PM
- melanie mauer said...
- hi lisa,
so happy to find your sweet blog! i adore lexington and your sensibility as well :) warmly, -melanie mauer-
- July 2, 2010 7:53 AM