As one of Lexington’s first suburban residential developments of the 20th century, the Mentelle Neighborhood has a wealth and variety of period architecture. Come to the Bell House, 545 Sayre Ave., this Sunday, Nov. 5, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., to learn more about it.
Janie-Rice Brother, a senior architectural historian at the University of Kentucky who lives on Aurora Avenue, will give a presentation about our neighborhood’s styles. She is a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker who writes the Gardens to Gables blog about vernacular architecture in the region. She will be happy to identify and discuss your house’s style if you bring along a photo.
Here’s a preview:
“The story of suburbanization – the spread of residential communities on the outskirts of a city – in America is a fascinating one. The streetcar suburbs that began forming in the late 19th century formed the foundation for the post-World War II suburbs that spread like wildfire (think ranch house, ranch house, ranch house). The Mentelle Neighborhood provides a perfect snapshot of the types and styles of domestic architecture that swept across neighborhoods in Kentucky from the late 19th century to World War II as cities grew outwards.
I’ve lived in two early 20th century suburbs in Lexington, and the breadth of historic house types in the Mentelle and Kenwick neighborhoods continues to delight me on a daily basis.
Although the rise in homeownership was not as dramatic as would occur in the post World War II period, this neighborhood came of age at a time when scores of people were moving into single-family homes for the first time – and the new housing types and styles seemed tailor made for the occasion. The bungalow, which is the predominant type in the neighborhood, was the antithesis of the Victorian architecture that preceded it. I’ll talk about types, plans, stylistic choices (or the seeming lack thereof), and how these growing early suburbs reflected societal changes in America.”
Light refreshments will be served. See you there.