The Southern KY Book Fair is Tomorrow in Bowling Green

Named by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association as one of the Top 10 Spring Festivals & Events, the Southern Kentucky Book Fair is this Saturday in Bowling Green! It is a free event where 150 authors and illustrators from Kentucky and beyond are available to discuss their books. There will be panel discussions and, of course, you can purchase copies of the great books there at the event and get them autographed!

I'll be there at Booth #58 with Lost Lexington so be sure to come and say hello! And if you have friends or colleagues in Bowling Green or in the western Kentucky region who are interested in books, history, or historic preservation -- be sure to send them along!

If you go:
Southern Kentucky Book Fair
April 18, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Knicely Convention Center, Bowling Green
Admission is free.

More details about the Book Fair are available at http://www.sokybookfest.org and you can learn more about Lost Lexington by clicking here.

Sleep in a Western Kentucky Wigwam


The Wigwam Village No. 2, located in Cave City Kentucky, beckons those passing by to pause. Its unique character and charm date back to the 1930s and the explosive days of motor traffic across America. Plus, this is the place where you can "sleep in a wigwam."

How cool is that?

In response to that growth, small motels popped up across the landscape in the first half of the 20th century. Today, the word 'motel' conjures up the classic, sprawling mid-century motor inn with exterior entrances along either one or two levels. And although we might connect these places with seedier elements of society today, even the mid-century motel is making it onto historic radars and into the National Register. The 1988 application of the Wigwam Village to the National Register notes how the standardized room also led to the demise of institutions like Wigwam Village:
The 1960s boom in chain motor inns, characterized by standardized units, an emphasis on family values, and the financial resources of franchising, accompanied state and national highway programs and soon rendered most of the classic motels obsolete.
But before these 'classic' motels dotted the landscape, unique 'small mom and pop' motor courts providing lodging and other amenities for those on the road.

[DEMO WATCH]: Decades of Demolition on Louisville's Water Company Block Continued Over the Weekend

Demolition underway in Louisville on Saturday, April 11, 2015. The Ville Voice.
The headline from Page One reads: "All Hell is Breaking Loose in Louisville." And although the Kaintuckeean tends to be quite Bluegrass-centric, the historic preservation news coming from the Commonwealth's most populous place is alarming.

Metro Louisville demolished multiple structures on Third Street in downtown Louisville on Saturday, including the the Typewriter building, the Falls City Theater Company, and the Old Morrissey Garage. These properties have on multiple occasions been listed on Preservation Louisville's Most Endangered Historic Places list.

The Morrissey Garage was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as the Bosler Garage (its original name). Built in the Romanesque Revival design in 1919, the garage has been described as "an important local example of utilitarian architecture and of the local awareness and respect for the automobile industry in the early years" of the 20th century. Jeffrey Scott Holland photographed Morrissey and shared some of the images on Unusual Kentucky.

A 1974 Sanborn map shows these structures standing alone in a sea of parking lot, but the structures have persisted. When acquired by the city of Louisville in 2009, an inspection revealed that structures were in "poor condition." By neglect, the 2015 inspection "concluded dramatic deterioration" according to the Louisville Metro.

When I read those words, all I could think was that this is an awful case of demolition by neglect.

DEMO WATCH: Kentucky's Equine History Embodied in the Robert Sanders House of Scott County

Robert Sanders House in Scott County. National Register
In 1785, at the age of 6, Polly Shipp Hawkins immigrated to Kentucky. Much later in life, she recollected her journey through life. The memoirs, written in 1868, recalled a "large brick house 'standing near the Cane Run bridge on the turnpike to Lexington.'" It stood out in Polly's mind as it was the first brick house she ever encountered.

And stood out it should. The home encountered by young Polly was probably the first brick structure in Scott County and one of the earliest and finest such structures in all the bluegrass.

In 1904, Scott County historian B. O. Gaines observed that the Robert Sanders house "would last forever." But that suggestion may soon be untrue.

Although preservationists are actively working to save this two-and-one-half story piece of history, the Robert Sanders house is truly in its eleventh hour.

The home's inclusion on the 2009 edition of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation's endangered property list observed both that "the exterior of this building is large and impressive" but also that "the interior is the real treasure."

But according to the Georgetown News-Graphic, "work has already begun to strip the interior of the house." These treasured interior elements include, according to the BGT:
The first story room to the east of the central stair hall contains the original walnut mantelpiece and paneling. Detailing includes scallops, large reeding, fretwork, cornice, and chair rail all in the original, unpainted walnut. To the right of the fireplace is a bookshelf with doors containing small panes of glass and to the right is a closet which once housed an early stairway. The rest of the house preserves original mantels, trim, and floorboards.
Even more spectacular, still, may be the importance of this house and property on Kentucky's equine industry.
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