Ghosts & Architecture at the Loudoun House

The Loudoun House – Lexington, KentuckyPhoto Courtesy: P.D. Burnett

The Loudoun House, located in Castlewood Park in Lexington, Kentucky was built in 1850 by Architect Alexander Jackson Davis for Francis Key Hunt. Hunt was an attorney in Fayette County and in 1840, married Julia Warfield, whose parents gave the couple the land where the Loudoun House is now located.

The architecture of the house was, at least in part, inspired by the macabre. Patrick A. Snadon, in his book “Loudoun: Two New York Architects and a Gothic Revival Villa in Antebellum Kentucky”, that Hunt and his family left Lexington in the summer of 1849 to escape from the cholera epidemic. While traveling through the eastern part of the United States and Canada, Hunt saw a castellated Gothic Villa designed by the very man who would design Loudoun House in the next decade.

While Hunt was on the run from the cholera epidemic, his father, John Wesley Hunt, died in Lexington – leaving a fortune reportedly in excess of one million dollars to his eight children. It was with this money that F.K. Hunt was able to start the process of building the house.

The Loudoun House – Lexington, KentuckyPhoto Courtesy: P.D. Burnett

According to the Lexington Art League, which now calls the building home, the Loudoun House took more than 4 years to design and build and went massively over budget. The building was originally budgeted between 10 and 12 thousand dollars. However, by the time construction was completed in 1852, the construction had cost more than 30 thousand dollars.

As far as ghosts at the Loudoun House, there are reportedly three different spirits that roam the halls. One ghost is said to be a woman who haunts the western side of the house. The second is believed to be a different woman who appears in the section of the house that used to be the dining room. A mysterious black cat has also been spotted on the grounds and inside the house. There are also reports of the lingering smell of floral perfume in one of the rooms upstairs as well as reports of disembodied voices and the faint sounds of ballroom music.

Loudoun House 1940 – Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, KY,34-LEX,7-1

The Loudoun House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February 1973. You can view those documents here. The house is one of five surviving castellated Gothic Revival villas designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in the United States. You can visit the Loudoun House. The house is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 5pm. If you would like to know more about the exhibits the Loudoun House is currently hosting you can find that information here.

Loudoun House 1940 – Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, KY,34-LEX,7-6

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