In the early 1900s, Louisville residential development began to change dramatically. Instead of living near their places of work, the introduction of the automobile allowed Louisvillians to move further outside the city, giving them the opportunity to build elegant houses surrounded by scenic estates. The Olmsted landscape firm was completing the parks system at the same time, which attracted new home construction. And, the local architect who implemented many of these grand residences was John Bacon Hutchings. Not trained as an architect, Hutchings employed his natural talent to build beautiful designs such as the Ballard mansion (now known as ‘Melcombe’), Glen Entry, Edgecombe, Midlands, and many others. His son, E. T. Hutchings continued his father’s grand projects such as Spindletop in Lexington and the Taylor mansion, commonly known as ‘Four Courts.’ Architect and historian Steve Wiser will explore these and many other of their high-profile projects in this fascinating review of two architects who made a major quality impact on our city.
Steve Wiser is the author of several local architecture and history books including: Distinctive Houses of Louisville, Modern Houses of Louisville, Louisville Tapestry: People and Places who helped create America’s Most Livable City, and Louisville Sites to See by DESIGN.