Letters to the Editor

Letters on planned demolition of century-old house

Pine Street Victorian house on edge of Historic Woodward Heights Neighborhood in downtown Lexington
Pine Street Victorian house on edge of Historic Woodward Heights Neighborhood in downtown Lexington

Save restored house

The board of directors of the Historic Woodward Heights Neighborhood Association wishes to voice strong opposition to the pending demolition of 701 Pine Street.

This stately home, renovated and restored by a previous owner, is soon to be torn down as the Town Branch Distillery complex prepares for expansion.

The handsome painted brick Victorian is the one remaining house on the Pine Street block bound by Merino Street and Moloney Alley. It is on the edge of the historic overlay that protects much of Woodward Heights, one of the only intact neighborhoods of that era still standing in Lexington.

Unfortunately, because the house is not included in the H-1 overlay, it would appear that its fate is sealed, despite assurances by the purchasers to the previous owner that it would be saved.

It is a shame that the patchwork of neighborhoods that give Lexington it’s unique character are not as cherished by the corporations who choose to locate in their midst as they are by the people who reside in them. If anyone out there can help persuade the owners of Town Branch Distillery to preserve this property rather than destroy it, we would all breathe a huge collective sigh of relief.

Fran Taylor


Historic Woodward Heights Neighborhood Association

Alltech hurts historic area

There is a stately, well maintained, 100-year old, 2-1/2 story brick house at the northwest corner of Pine and Merino in downtown Lexington.

The limited partnership that owns it shares the same Nicholasville address as Alltech and also owns all of the now vacant property on that side of Pine, including Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery.

The house is just outside of the Woodward Heights historic-overlay boundary. That means it is not protected from being demolished. In fact, its owner has obtained a permit to allow demolition to begin Aug. 11.

This house provides an important visual border, shielding current residents from the vacant properties running down Pine Street to the distillery.

Woodward Heights residents have labored for decades to preserve and upgrade their neighborhood. Those improvements helped Alltech decide to build there. Now Alltech wants to pay the neighborhood back by tearing down one of its most visually important houses.

Every time a residence is removed, the surrounding neighborhood is hurt, not only by the loss of an important visual cornerstone, but also by the removal of the residents who would live there.

The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation urges Alltech to stop the planned demolition of this important house.

Bill Johnston

President, board of directors of Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation