About the Architecture in Frankfort

Much of downtown Frankfort is a product of the 19th century. The sturdy, often Italianate brick buildings that make up the central business district were mostly built in the 1870s and 1880s. (Much of the core had to be rebuilt following a serious fire in 1870.)

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

Buildings of Architectural or Historical Interest

  • Glen Willis: Brick house built in 1815 by Hancock Lee, founder of Leestown, on Wilkinson Boulevard, just to the north of downtown Frankfort.
  • Bibb-Burnley House: Built on Wapping Street in 1845 by John H. Bibb, who developed Bibb lettuce here.
  • Frankfort Union Station: Built in 1908 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, replacing a previous train station built in the 1850s. The last scheduled passenger train left Frankfort in 1971. The railroad tunnel just east of the station was dug in 1849.
  • John Hampton House: At 101 West Main Street, this is the oldest surviving stone house in the city, built sometime before 1840.
  • Liberty Hall Historic Site: Liberty Hall is a mansion in the Georgian style. It was built about 1796 by John Brown, a member of the Continental Congress and one of Kentucky's first two U.S. senators. The Liberty Hall Historic Site also contains the Orlando Brown House, which was built around 1835 and was designed by Gideon Shryock, who also designed the Old State Capitol building.
  • Old State Capitol Building: This stone building, designed by Gideon Shryock in the Greek Revival style, was the state capitol from 1829 to 1909.
  • Reverend Jesse R. Zeigler House (also known as the Frank Lloyd Wright House): This house on Shelby Street was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is the only building that he designed to be built in Kentucky in his lifetime and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Old State Arsenal Building: Built in 1850, it was rebuilt after a fire in 1933, and in 1973 became the state's Military History Museum.
  • The Old Mansion: This building at High and Clinton Streets was the governor's residence from 1797 to 1914. It is now the official residence of the lieutenant governor.
  • State Capitol: The new capitol was built 1905 to 1909, and dedicated June 1, 1910. The building's style is neo-classical. The north pediment shows Kentucky as a heroine attended by figures symbolizing Progress, History, Law, Art, and Labor. The design of the dome and rotunda is said to show a French influence, and the white marble stairs with banisters are copies of those in the Paris' Palais Garnier opera house.
  • Governor's Mansion: Ground was broken for the "new" Governor's Mansion on July 25, 1912 and construction was completed in 1914. (The mansion was still incomplete when Governor James. B. McCreary moved into it in January 1914.) The mansion is in the Beaux-Arts style. Its exterior was modeled after the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's villa at Versailles.