By Jeffrey Scott Holland
Ever been to the Old Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort? Most likely you haven’t. But here’s an opportunity.
Although it’s historically been the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, the place has been empty since Steve Henry vacated it in 2003. Subsequent Lieutenant Governors have chosen to live elsewhere to be closer to their hometowns. The Kentucky Historical Society has since taken it over, and in 2009 they completed renovations for turning it into a guest house. The renovation project was spearheaded by first lady Jane Beshear, along with former first ladies Phyllis George Brown, Judy Patton, and Libby Jones.
Now, here’s your chance to get a look at this rarely-seen home. From December 2 to the 11th, the “Christmas at the Old Governor’s Mansion” event will take place, with two of the South’s most famous designers, Jon Carloftis and James Farmer III. Carloftis and Farmer will be completely redecorating the house and giving a tutorial on their ideas. These include:
* Making a statement with your entrance
* The “must haves” of a true Southern kitchen
* Putting the “Southern Living” back in living rooms
* Creating a stable focal point for your front and back yard
* Elegant Christmas dining
Participating in the event are two national magazines: Southern Living, the flagship periodical for traditional home decor below the Mason-Dixon line, and Garden & Gun, one of my favorite reads, and one that takes the huntin’-and-fishin’ woodsy lifestyle to a dazzling new upscale cocktail-sipping plateau.
Opening reception is on Thursday, December 1st, starting at 7pm. It’s $100 per person. The event proper begins the next day, December 2, running until the 11th – that’s Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm and Sunday, 1pm to 5pm. $20 per person.
Tickets can be purchased at the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist Commission, 100 Capital Avenue (502-875-8687) and at any Forcht Bank in Kentucky.
And I can’t help but mention that, yes, there are haunting legends associated with the two-centuries-old property. (I don’t try hard to seek out these ghost stories, dear reader, but they keep seeming to find me.) Stephen Collins, son of former Gov. Martha Layne Collins, has noted the long-held rumors that the ghosts of Margaret Robinson Robertson, (mother-in-law of Gov. Robert Letcher) and Mary Catherine Pope Greenup (wife of Gov. Christopher Greenup) still walk the mansion’s halls. So even if interior decorating isn’t really your cup of Earl Grey, consider attending the event anyway for a chance to glimpse some 19th century spirit!
Jeffrey Scott Holland is a native Kentuckian, painter, writer, actor, musician, paralegal – and interested in all things. He joins a growing stable of talented, interesting regular columnists for KyForward.com, bringing his gift of a well-turned phrase, quirkiness and humor to entertain and enlighten — and sometimes provoke — our readers. He can always be reached at any time, by anyone on the planet, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo from ky.gov.