This past Wednesday, September 7, the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation held one of their acclaimed deTours in Winchester, the first in our fair city. BGT holds its deTours on the first Wednesday of every month. They usually select sites in Lexington, but occasionally venture out to other Bluegrass locations. This month they chose the historic Thomson Neighborhood.
The Thomson Addition, laid out by Harrison P. Thomson in 1888, became one of Winchester’s most desirable subdivisions. Immediately south of the business district, it attracted many of the citizens who contributed to the city’s building boom of the late 19th and early 20th century. The largely intact housing stock boasts an outstanding assortment of architectural styles. In 1992, the Thomson Neighborhood Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The District, which contains portions of five other subdivisions or additions, recognized 268 contributing structures. The boundaries defined for the District zig and zag considerably; however, it is roughly outlined by Hickman Street, Main Street, Moundale Avenue, and Boone Avenue.
Professor Julie Riesenweber of the UK College of Design and her students developed a walking tour of the neighborhood. BGT collaborated on the project and conducted the September 7 event. A map of the walking tour is shown below.
Attendees received a brochure with descriptions of the houses on the tour. Copies of the brochure can be downloaded at
The weather cooperated, and the tour was well attended. Surprisingly, few of the attendees were from Winchester. I guess not too many folks here are plugged in to the BGT. deTours began in 2011. They are free and open to the general public. You can check their website (https://www.bluegrasstrust.org/) each month to see what’s coming up or sign up to receive an email notification at https://www.bluegrasstrust.org/new-page-62.
Clare and I have attended many of these. Some past tours included the Bodley-Bullock House, Richard B. Isenhour’s Mid-Century Modern Homes, Botherum, Pope Villa, Bell Court, and Hampton Court in Lexington, as well as Chaumerie des Praires, Jessamine County, Ward Hall, Georgetown, Downtown Midway, our own Colby Tavern and Boot Hill Farm, and many more.
If you have a suggestion for a future deTour in Winchester or Clark County, BGT would like to hear from you (let them know on their contacts page).