Homeseller

Reinventing the traditional neighborhood in Patchen Wilkes

If you’re the kind who feels nostalgic for the charm of small town life, this new home in Lexington’s Patchen Wilkes subdivision might be right up your alley -- as in having an actual alley running behind your house.

The five bedroom, four and a half bath, 4,410 square foot home at 1913 General Warfield Way is loaded with features that folks are pining for today -- open floor plan, 10 foot ceilings and a first floor master suite.

One of the most remarkable things about Patchen Wilkes is the neighborhood itself. Dr. David Sloan and wife Ruth have lived there for a little over three years and note that it’s like nothing else in Lexington.

“I think that’s why we ended up here, because it’s so different,” Dr. Sloan said. “It reminded us of something in the Carolinas, and we like being basically part of the horse farm here.”

Dr. Sloan rates the location as ideal. “We’re close to Hamburg, we’re close to I-75 and I can get to work downtown in six minutes.”

“It’s a place where you get to know your neighbors walking around and out with their dogs or on their front porches,” Mrs. Sloan said. “It almost seems like our own little town.”

LIKE OUR OWN LITTLE TOWN

The adjacent horse farm is the fabled Patchen Wilkes Farm, notable for producing rare pure white thoroughbreds and for its owner, celebrated businessman and restauranteur Warren Rosenthal.

Homebuilder Jimmy Nash explains Rosenthal’s vision for the property. “Early on he sought out to have this Traditional Neighborhood Development concept or TND. We went all around -- Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, St. Louis and Celebration, Florida to do a study on this traditional type home with the garages in the back.”

According to Nash, Rosenthal seemed more interested in the kind of lasting thumbprint he was leaving in the community, than being a developer.

It seems developers are not lining up to build this type of neighborhood with wide streets, ample lots, geothermal heating, brick pavers leading to the front door, no visible garages and no decks or vulnerable wood structures. The emphasis is on quality and permanence.

Home exteriors are predominantly durable materials such as stone, brick, Hardie plank and cement board. “Products that never fail,” says Nash.

“From a developer standpoint it’s not lucrative because you are building two streets for every house,” Nash said.

QUALITY AND PERMANANCE

The private alleys behind the house set the Patchen Wilkes Luxury Homes apart from the pack. The convenient alleys take garages off the street and tuck them out of sight, while taking cars off the street and making the front yard more inviting for social contact.

The kitchen features a center island and custom cabinetry with inset drawers and doors. There’s a common thread of shiplap planking that peeks out of the coffered family room ceiling, over the Indiana fieldstone fireplace, around the kitchen island, in the vaulted master suite, and in the covered outdoor living space.

The wood trim around passageways and windows is reminiscent of the vintage look you’d see in an old hotel. The eight foot doors complement the 10 foot ceilings.

Upstairs, three bedrooms are rounded out with a flex space that might be a study, library or kids family room. Along with an additional bedroom, the basement is roughed in for an exercise room, media room and wet bar.

“He’d like this to be the new Chevy Chase,” Nash says of Rosenthal’s vision. “The whole idea is we’re trying to build something that’s going to be here 150 years, not 10 years.”

This week’s feature home is listed with Laura Beth Ratliff of Bluegrass Sotheby’s Realty in Lexington.

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