GEORGETOWN — Karen and Bill LaBach found their perfect home in 2004. The house at 321 East Main Street suited him because of its historic significance. He's a descendant of Henry Clay, a historian and a genealogy buff.
She likes "the fact that on Main Street, we can walk to shopping, and Bill wanted to walk to the courthouse, and we didn't want to be dependent on driving when we get older."
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The LaBach house, built circa 1821 by James Emison, will be open for the Christmas Historic Home Tour from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Previous owners updated and renovated the row house. After they bought it, the LaBachs stripped wallpaper in the front hall and changed the pastel colors to the jewel tones of the Federal era.
"We've tried to keep the original part of the house looking like a Federal style as much as we could," Karen LaBach said.
Portraits of ancestors and vintage photographs of themselves and relatives are hung throughout the downstairs, along with Karen LaBach's original artwork. Her studio is on the first floor in space that once was a porch. Bill LaBach's law office is on the second floor. Those spaces will not be part of the holiday tour.
The house was decorated for Christmas by artist Amy Rogers, whose creativity lies with "found art."
"I recycle," she said. Rogers has added festive holiday touches with red roses left over from a Derby party, ribbon from Christmases past, and other odds and ends from "around the house that were boxed up and put away. I repurposed them," she said.
Bill LaBach said the fireplace in the front parlor is original to the house, but others, including the one in the dining room, were added when the house was renovated by famous architect Warfield Gratz in 1937.
"The fireplaces came from an old house in Washington. Kentucky, not D.C.," he said.
Hanging above the fireplace in the dining room is a portrait of one of Bill LaBach's ancestors, Mary Brown, the step-grandmother of Mary Todd Lincoln.
The dining room is the largest room in the house.
"They didn't have electricity when this house was built, and this would have been the room where people congregated," Karen LaBach said.
Antique mirrors in the dining room belong to a friend who lives in an apartment and wanted them displayed in a historic home. They are from the estate of the late Frances Smith Trivette.