Holly and Brooks Scudder opened their Great House for a benefit tour on Saturday, October 1, complete with black and white photographs placed throughout the house to show, for example, the gaping holes in the floor just two years ago when they rescued it from ruin. This beautiful home on West Second Street was built in 1886 by John Howard, a former Union army man and wholesale grocer, and also the 15thpostmaster of Lexington. The home remained in the Howard family until the 1970s, after which it went through several decades of different owners and finally was on the brink of being lost forever. The “before” photos reveal views of the basement straight through from the top floor, a formerly magnificent staircase hanging precariously, vines growing INSIDE to cover stained-glassed windows, and some daunting and depressing walls stripped of paint and paper and covered with bat excrement.
No more. Today, the floors are gleaming (some patched with wood from the attic flooring). Three fireplace mantels, hand-carved in Louisville and original to the house, have been restored to perfection. A beautiful old bath-tub found in the house now looks brand-new. Elaborate stained-glass windows were taken down, numbered, restored, and replaced piece by piece. Beveled glass windows appear throughout the house, even over the entry transom. What couldn’t be restored has been reimagined to a new kind of functional beauty, as in the large modern kitchen, or in the once-again magnificent staircase (rebuilt with only the bottom two original steps salvageable).
Even the architect who performed the recent work, Darren Taylor, was also there to walk us through. It was a most pleasant way to spend a late afternoon in the fall and a most generous gift of time and space from Holly and Brooks (and their son, Nate). This benefit tour helped us raise more funds to keep the doors open for our own residents, survivors of human trafficking. THANK YOU to the Scudder family and to all who attended!