Come next spring, Ron and Elise Wallace expect to have a national audience for their one-of-a-kind house in Woodford County.
HGTV’s show “You Live in What?” came to their house last week and filmed a segment. The HGTV show has spotlighted unusual residences including a ferry, train depot and ice cream factory.
The Wallaces have a one-of-a-kind house: Theirs is built inside the stone ruins of a bourbon distillery and is accordingly dubbed “The Ruin.”
“I don’t think we had an idea of what we were getting into,” Ron Wallace said. “We loved the location, place and potential.”
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When the Wallaces first looked at the site, there was no house, but the couple was intrigued by the stone ruins. They worked with Phil Gerrow of Midway Preservation in Midway and Tom Wilmes of Wilmes Architects in Lexington to help bring to life their vision for the remains of the Glenn Springs Distillery.
First they built a guest house to live in while work was done on the main house. The smaller structure, connected to the main house by a breezeway, now alternates between bed and breakfast and guesthouse which was opened in 2015. The bed and breakfast features two rooms with a rate of $225-$325 per night plus tax. There’s a two-night minimum.
The vast outside walls helped dictate the structure of the main house, which includes lots of old wood including log cabin remains from another farm.
“That set the tone,” Ron Wallace said. “We used the walls, so everything was built around the walls.”
Glenn’s Creek Distillery was the first distillery in America to employ Dr. James C. Crow, according to theruinbnb.com/history. Crow studied medicine and chemistry at Edinburgh University before immigrating to Kentucky in 1823, where he applied his genius directly to whiskey.
First at Glenn’s Creek distillery, and later at Old Oscar Pepper distillery, he took what had been a haphazard procedure and applied to it a scientific method. His methods were adopted by other big distilleries, and by his death in 1856, it had become commonplace in bourbon distillation, as it still is to this day.
At some point prior to 1903, the distillery was sold and shortly thereafter it was closed and dismantled. There is no mention in the Kentucky tax records after 1900, the website states.
The segment with the Wallace house is expected to air in spring 2018, Wallace said.
“You Live in What?” segments include a social lodge in New Castle, Ind., that became a photography studio and home with a 2,200-square foot great room; a former paint factory in Tampa’s warehouse district that became a couple’s modern house; and firehouses turned into residences in St. Paul and Des Moines.