Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

Northeast Residential Historic DIstrict

Lexington City, Fayette County, KY

The Northeast Residential Historic District [†] is a residential neighborhood north of Main Street and just a few blocks from the downtown commercial area. The western half of the District is land which was divided into "out lots" when the boundaries of Lexington were created in 1791. During the nineteenth century the land of several large estates comprised what is now this neighborhood, and it was the development of these estate lands around the turn of the twentieth century which resulted in a large percentage of the building stock which remains. In the center of the District, at the corner of Walnut and Fourth Streets and catercornered from one another, are three imposing large residential structures which are each already listed individually on the National Register. Although there are examples of the Federal, Greek Revival, and Italianate periods in this area, the majority of the building stock is representative of turn-of-the-century styles including Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, late Richardsonian, pyramidal-roof and "T"-plan cottages, and Neo-classical. Most of these residences were constructed during the period between 1890 and 1915 and are architecturally intact even though many of the larger structures have been converted into multi‑residential units. As a result of this short period of development, there is no other neighborhood in Lexington that better exhibits a concentration of the representative architectural styles of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The 100 and 200 blocks of East Fourth Street and the 300 block of Walnut Street were developed earlier than the rest of this neighborhood, consequently having the earlier architectural styles. The 18?1 Bird's Eye View map of Lexington shows Walnut Street extended as far as Fourth Street (the 1855 map shows it only as far as Third Street) and East Fourth Street as far as DeWeese Street. On Walnut Street, there are five one story cottages remaining which were constructed probably between 1865 and 1875 and the early maps show others that were replaced by existing structures. The block was inhabited by middle-class merchants and laborers. The 200 block of East Fourth have^two substantial Italianate residences built circa 18?5. One of these houses is attributed to the well known Lexington architect, Gincinnatus Shryock. The 100 block of East Fourth is the location of the circa l8l^ Federal style residence known as the Hugh Carlan House.

The 400 block of Walnut Street, Johnson Avenue, and Campsie Place were developed during a later time period as a result of the opening up of these streets around 1900. Johnson Avenue was originally known as Johnson Highway for no apparent reason .as it is and probably could never have been more than a single block long. The land was assembled by realtor Bishop Clay around 1902-03 although the plat of the subdivision was not recorded until May 5, 191^, when all the lots had been developed. The land had originally been part of the^large holdings of the Robert F. Johnson family whose property was known as "'"Thorn Hill." Sociologically, there seems to have been quite a mixture of middle and lower middleclass persons with considerable turnover in the early years. Still qui&t and well maintained, this virtual cul-de-sac has preserved its identity for over 75 years.

Campsie Place was developed from the former land of the Kinkead family around their house on the southeast corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets shortly after the turn of the century. The plat for Campsie Place was not recorded until 1905 but lots were sold earlier. The street was most likely developed by the executors of the estate of Eliza Kinkead as most of the deeds for these lots show that they were sold by the estate.

The 400 block of Walnut Street is flanked on the south end by the stately Brand-Barrow House and the Colonial Revival Henry P. Kinkead House. In the 188? and 1888 City Directories, there were no listings for Walnut Street north of Fourth Street. In 1893, Henry P. Kinkead, for whom the house at the corner (403 Walnut) was built, was listed with only a single house north of his. The rest on the west side of the block was subdivided and almost entirely developed as part of the development of Johnson Avenue. The greater part of the east side of the 400 block of Walnut Street was originally part of the Brand-Barrow House property.

Adapted From: Richard S. DeGamp, Executive Director & Walter Langsam. Architectural Historian, Lexington-Fayette County Historic Commission, Northeast Residential Historic District, nomination document, 1985, National Register of Historic Places, accessed July, 2021.

Street Names
4th Street East • 5th Street East • Campsie Place • Johnson Avenue • Walnut Street