Saturday, August 12, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: August 12, 1781 - Matthew Kennedy, Jr.







Image from www.kaintuckeean.com




From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Matthew Kennedy, Jr., an early architect, was born on August 12, 1781, the son of Matthew and Jane (Buchanan) Kennedy of Augusta County, Virginia. The younger Kennedy moved to Kentucky, locating in Lexington about 1796. He started building about 1800, but no record survives of his work prior to 1814, when he designed and built the second Kentucky statehouse at Frankfort, a project that must have demanded considerable experience. In 1816 Kennedy returned to Lexington to supervise construction of Transylvania College's main building. His design for the building had been chosen over that of Benjamin Latrobe, the leading architect in the country. By the time the cornerstone was laid for his Grand Masonic Hall in Lexington in 1824, Kennedy had adopted the title architect, the first Kentuckian to do so. The last major public building by Kennedy was Transylvania University 's 1827 medical hall, the school's first building designed for that specific use. No public building by Kennedy survives, but a number of his residences do.

Kennedy was the first architect to develop a distinctive residential building type in the Bluegrass region. All the residences are similar in design to that of his own house, constructed shortly after 1816 on Limestone Street: a two-story brick house having a raised basement and covered by a hipped roof. The facades are organized by four brick pilasters rising to a broken cornice, with a pediment containing a lunette placed above. Kennedy built a number of these houses in the Bluegrass region from 1816 until his retirement in the early 1840s, including Grassland in Fayette County. Kennedy's style is also found in houses in Frankfort, Bardstown , and Lebanon.

On September 11, 1811, he married Jane C. Smith of Versailles. The Kennedys and their four sons, Samuel, Thomas, Benjamin, and Matthew, moved to Louisville in 1840. Kennedy died on April 17, 1853, and was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery .

WILLIAM B. SCOTT, JR., Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Lancaster, Clay., and Lexington-Fayette County Historic Commission. Vestiges of the Venerable City : A Chronicle of Lexington, Kentucky, Its Architectural Development and Survey of Its Early Streets and Antiquities. Lexington, Ky.]: Lexington-Fayette County Historic Commission, 1978. Print.
NA735.L55 L30, Design Library

Reading, W. Gay. Historic Photos of Lexington. Nashville, Tenn.: Turner Pub., 2006. Print.
F459.L6 R38 2006

Murray-Wooley, Carolyn. Carolyn Murray-Wooley Collection on Lexington, Kentucky Residential Architecture, 1960-1974. (1960). Print.
2005av005, Special Collections Archives

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