Donation reunites two parcels of Hunt-Morgan history

Thomas Hunt Morgan House - Lexington, Ky. Blue Grass Trust.
At Second and Mill streets is the home built by John Wesley Hunt, Hopemont, that later became known as the Hunt-Morgan House. Around two corners from Hopemont's iconic Palladian window is 210 North Broadway.

The latter building has been home to the Woman's Club of Central Kentucky since 1965, but both the building and that organization have longer lineages. WCCK is now celebrating its 120th anniversary and in celebration has "made an extraordinary preservation gift to the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation."

In 1870, 210 North Broadway was built for Capt. Charlton Hunt Morgan and his wife, Mrs. Ellen Key Morgan. At the helm of design and construction was one of the finest architects of time and place, John McMurtry. The land on which the Hunt's built was once a part of Hopemont's more significant acreage. It has been announced that WCCK is donating the North Broadway property to the Blue Grass Trust. The BGT, already the owner of the Hunt-Morgan House on North Mill, will reunite these two parcels again under common ownership.

Historic marker outside 

Born at Hopemont in 1866, Thomas Hunt Morgan was a young boy when his parents moved into 210 North Broadway. It was here that young Thomas began to show his interest in biology and naturalism as he gathered birds, birds' eggs and fossils.  By the age of 16, he was enrolled at the State College, later the U. of Kentucky, from which he would graduate as the valedictorian in 1886.

A professorship at John Hopkins University was followed by the same at Columbia University. While at Columbia, Dr. Morgan created his infamous "fly room." Using the inexpensive and fast breeding species, he studied heredity at a chromosomal level.

In 1933, Dr. Morgan received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "his discoveries concerning the role played by chromosomes in heredity." He was the first Kentuckian to receive the Nobel Prize and he is known as the "Father of Modern Genetics."

After earning his Nobel Prize, Dr. Hunt was named the president of Caltech. He would pass away in 1945 in Pasadena, California.

His childhood home at 210 North Broadway would forever bear his name as the Thomas Hunt Morgan House. Over the years, various additions have been made to the property as it has seen various uses since it was the Morgan family residence. Specifically, an auditorium (ca. 1912) and dining hall (ca. 1970) have left many more square feet than originally included in the McMurtry design.

The buildings future is secure as it will become the new home for the Blue Grass Trust in the spring of 2015.