Lexington Coachman's West Fourth Street Shotgun is on Demolition Watch

Across from the always-locked back gate to Hampton Court is a shotgun at 467 West Fourth Street, a structure which is the latest installment of #DemolitionWatch. The permit was issued on May 19 on a story that was once the home of the coachman for multiple prominent Lexington families.

According to PVA records, the 1,003 square foot shotgun was built in 1908. Unlike many of the other shotguns, 467 West Fourth has a 275 sq. ft appendage near the rear of the structure (date unknown). 

Parker Langford: Coachman to the Bradley, Dudley, and Barnes families

As for the history of 467 West Fourth, a search of the local history index at the Lexington Public Library revealed one hit: the Lexington Leader's "colored notes" of February 1930 noted that "funeral services for Mrs. Laura Langford, formerly of this city, were held in Cincinnati, Monday, February 10. She was the wife of Parker Langford, 467 West Fourth Street."

According to the 1921 Polk's Lexington City Directory, Parker Langford resided at 467 West Fourth Street. He was listed as a janitor, though at an unknown place. His obituary also appeared twice in the Lexington Leader on July 30, 1941 after he passed away at the Good Samaritan hospital after a long illness. The Madison County native was the son of Green and Eliza Langford whose residence was misidentified as 457 West Fourth Street (the 1940 Census confirms that Langford lived at street number 467, not 457).

Kentucky Heritage Council's Annual Preservation Awards Go To...

Each year, the Kentucky Heritage Council awards various preservation awards to individuals and groups who have advocated, promoted, supported or plain out "did" preservation work in Kentucky. The biggest award, the Ida Lee Willis, is the highest honor bestowed. 

Ida Lee Willis was the first lady of Kentucky (her husband, Gov. Simeon Willis, served from 1943-47) and was "directly responsible for saving the Vest-Lindsey House in Frankfort. She was named the first state historic preservation officer (SHPO) in 1966 after the enactment of the National Preservation Act.

The winner of this year's Ida Lee Willis Memorial Historic Preservation Award is K. Norman Berry of Louisville. A fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Berry "served as architects for more than 20 significant building preservation projects along this street. His firm was also awarded commissions to serve as architect for three of Kentucky’s most significant historic structures – the Kentucky State Capitol and Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort, and Federal Hill in Bardstown."

The awards will be given out today, May 27, 2015, at a ceremony at the Governor's Mansion. Visit heritage.ky.gov of more details.

Demolition Watch Updates Offer Good News During National Preservation Month

How about some good Friday news?

There are a couple of updates from the week worth mentioning, especially given how popular this site's #DemolitionWatch posts have become. So from the Commonwealth's two biggest cities, I offer some potentially positive outcomes to places on Demolition Watch.

Here are the original #DemolitionWatch posts related to the Jefferson and Fayette County structures. Updates are after the jump.

Regifting a Relic from the Spanish-American War

Cannon on the front lawn at UK. UK Libraries
An oft-forgotten conflict in American history, the Spanish-American War was one of only five wars in the nation's history to be formally declared by Congress. Lasting only three months in 1898, the island of Cuba served as the conflict's main theatre.

The final battle of the war was staged in the hills to the immediate east of Santiago and it acquired the name The Battle of San Juan Hill. A month after the battle, a dispatch was sent from the Secretary of War to General Shafter in Cuba requesting that "a lot of old brass cannon, old style, at Santiago, captured by you."

These many cannons were ultimately distributed by the War Department throughout the country. One in particular has since 1903 been on the grounds of the University of Kentucky, though it didn't arrive directly but was instead "regifted" through multiple hands before arriving in front of the University's Main Building.
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