Beaumont Avenue Residential District
The Beaumont Avenue District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Portions of the content of this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2015, The Gombach Group.
The Beaumont Avenue District is composed of residential structures built between 1850 and 1930. Within the district are fourteen contributing buildings. The district is located approximately two blocks southeast of the commercial district of Harrodsburg, Kentucky and is confined to the west side of Beaumont Avenue because the properties on the east side are either less than 50 years old or already on the National Register as in the case of Clay Hill. The buildings in the district are residential reflecting the late 19th and early 20th century use of Queen Anne, Classical Revival, Italianate, and Bungalow styles in Harrodsburg. The average lot size is approximately 100 by 160 feet. The houses vary in setback from the street. On the north end of the district near downtown, the houses are quite close to the street, but on the south end of the district the houses are up to eighty feet from the street.
The Beaumont Avenue District lies outside the original town plat, but along what was originally the Danville and Harrodsburg turnpike. West of the district was a resort known as Graham Springs. It attracted tourists to Harrodsburg in the mid-19th century from all over the state of Kentucky and the region. When the land along the Danville and Harrodsburg turnpike was being subdivided, the springs property was owned by the United States government and used as a military hospital. Southeast of the district, was Daughters College Established in 1851 as the Greenville Institute, the school's name was changed to Daughters College in 1856 when a new brick facility replaced one that had burned. The name changed to Beaumont College in 1894. The college was converted into an inn in 1917. Land to the east of Beaumont Avenue was part of the 1000 acre estate owned by Beriah Magoffin. Beriah Magoffin built Clay Hill in 1812. His son Beriah Magoffin, Jr. was born at Clay Hill and elected governor of Kentucky in 1859. Magoffin tried to keep Kentucky neutral during the turmoil of the early years of the Civil War, but was forced to resign in 1862 because members of the state legislature felt that he had southern sympathies.
The Beaumont Avenue District represents Harrodsburg's most intact collection of domestic dwellings spanning the era from 1850 to 1930. For the theme of architecture, the district contains houses which exemplify the evolution of domestic plans and styles from the rectangular, central passage format of the mid-nineteenth century through the asymmetrical arrangement of rooms of the Queen Anne style late in the nineteenth century, and finally to the revival of symmetry in the twentieth century houses. Despite the fact that the district is limited to one side of the street, the contributing buildings possess integrity and coherence in terms of land use, siting, design, and materials.
† Beaumont Avenue Historic District, Mercer County, KY, nomination document, 1989, NR# 88003359; National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.