Homes in the Bell Court Historic
District reflect the Victorian and Queen Anne styles that
were popular around the turn of the 20th century.
Photograph by Eric Thomason, courtesy of the Blue Grass
Trust for Historic Preservation
The Bell Court Historic Neighborhood District was developed
around the turn of the 20th century as a middle-class neighborhood
near the heart of downtown. The location of the district was pivotal
because it allowed residents to walk to their jobs downtown prior
to the advent of the automobile. There are 157 buildings in the
district, nearly all of which are residential in nature. The core
of the district is the historic building known as Bell Place.
This impressive home was designed by famed Lexington architect
Thomas Lewinski, who combined elements of the Greek Revival and
Romanesque styles into the design of the home. Bell Place was
donated to the city of Lexington in 1940 and the property continues
to be used as a public park to this day. The Clay Villa is also
located in the Bell Court Neighborhood and is the oldest home
in the district. The villa was constructed for James B. Clay,
son of statesman Henry Clay, in 1846.
The Pulliam House, 505 East Main
Photo from National Register collection
Most of the homes in the district reflect the Victorian and Queen
Anne styles that were popular around the turn of the 20th century.
There are also many Arts and Crafts style houses that dot the
development. Visitors to the district can park their cars and
travel the way residents of the district did shortly after its
construction, by foot, and appreciate the architecture and landscape.
The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd lies in the district
at the southwest corner of East Main and Bell Court. Completed
in 1925-26, it is a sterling example of late Gothic Revival style.
Bell Court Historic Neighborhood District includes several
main streets: Bell Court, Forest Ave., Sayre Ave., Russell Ave.,
Delmar Ave., and Boonesboro Ave. The private homes within the
district are not open to the public.