Exploring Historic Homes: Must-See Properties in Lexington

Lexington, Kentucky, known as the "Horse Capital of the World," boasts a rich tapestry of history woven through its charming streets and picturesque neighborhoods. Beyond its renowned equestrian heritage, lexington is a treasure trove of historic homes, each telling a unique story of the past. From grand antebellum mansions to quaint Victorian cottages, these architectural gems offer a glimpse into the city's storied past. Join us on a journey to discover some of the must-see historic properties in Lexington. 

1. Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

Ashland (Henry Clay estate) - Wikipedia

Located at 120 Sycamore Road, Ashland was the home of Henry Clay, one of America's most influential statesmen and a key figure in the 19th century. The 18-room mansion, surrounded by a beautifully landscaped 17-acre estate, showcases Federal-style architecture. Visitors can explore the richly decorated interiors, complete with period furnishings and artifacts that reflect the life and legacy of Clay. Don't miss the serene garden paths and the original smokehouse and icehouse. 

Tours & Hours: Guided tours are available Tuesday through Saturday. Visit the Ashland website for seasonal hours and special events.  

2. Mary Todd Lincoln House

Mary Todd Lincoln House - Wikipedia

At 578 West Main Street, you'll find the childhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. This Georgian-style brick house, built in 1803, offers a fascinating look into the early life of one of America's most notable first ladies. The museum features family portraits, period furnishings, and a wealth of Lincoln memorabilia, providing a personal glimpse into the Todd family and their place in Lexington's history. 

Tours and Hours: Open seasonally, March through November. Check the Mary Todd Lincoln House website for detailed visiting hours and tour information. 

3. Hunt-Morgan House

Hunt–Morgan House - Wikipedia

Nestled in the historic Gratz Park at 201 North Mill Street, the Hunt-Morgan House is a striking example of Federal architecture. Built in 1814, this stately home was the birthplace of General John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate leader, and Thomas Hunt Morgan, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. The house, also known as Hopemont, features a museum that highlights the contributions of the Hunt and Morgan families to Kentucky's cultural and scientific heritage. 

Tours & Hours: Guided tours are available from April to December. Visit the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation website for more details. 

4. The Bodley-Bullock House

File:Bodley-Bullock House (1).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Located in the heart of downtown Lexington at 200 Market Street, the Bodley-Bullock House is a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture. Built in 1814 by General Thomas Bodley, the house has served various roles, from a private residence to the headquarters for the Daughters of the American Revolution. The elegant interiors and carefully preserved period details transport visitors back to the 19th century, making it a popular venue for weddings and events. 

Tours & Hours: Private tours are available by appointment. Check the Bodley-Bullock House website for booking information. 

5. Waveland State Historic Site

Waveland State Historic Site - Lexington, KY - VisitLex

Just a short drive from downtown Lexington, Waveland is a beautiful Greek Revival plantation home built in 1847 by Joseph Bryan, a grandnephew of Daniel Boone. The estate, located at 225 Waveland Museum Lane, offers a comprehensive look into antebellum plantation life in Kentucky. Visitors can tour the main house, slave quarters, smokehouse, and icehouse, each meticulously restored to reflect its original condition. 

Tours & Hours: Open year-round with seasonal events and special tours. Visit the Waveland State Historic Site website for current schedules. 

6. Loudoun House

Loudoun House mansion in Lexington, Kentucky's Castlewood Park | Library of  Congress

A rare example of Gothic Revival architecture in Lexington, the Loudoun House stands at 209 Castlewood Drive. Designed by noted architect Alexander Jackson Davis and completed in 1852, the mansion features intricate woodwork, stained glass, and elaborate ceilings. Today, it serves as the home of the Lexington Art League, hosting contemporary art exhibitions and community events, seamlessly blending history with modern culture. 

Tours & Hours: The gallery is open to the public during exhibition hours. Check the Lexington Art League website for upcoming events and visiting hours. 

Lexington's historic homes are more than just beautiful structures; they are windows into the past, each offering a story of the people and events that shaped this vibrant city. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique outing, these must-see properties provide a captivating journey through time. Plan your visit to explore the rich heritage and timeless charm of Lexington's historic homes. 

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