As the 20th century began, the small and thriving city of Lexington, Kentucky was adding new streets and residences to accommodate its growing population. One of the finest of the new neighborhoods was named Ashland, anchored as it was by the Federal-style house of that name, once home to the statesman and US senator Henry Clay. Indeed, as a 1917 advertisement in the Lexington Leader stated, “For the man who wishes to build a home no more desirable location can be found.” When Clay’s descendants were ready to design the Ashland neighborhood, they hired the nation’s preeminent landscape architecture firm, Olmsted Brothers, then owned by the son and stepson of the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. The firm’s designers, trained and inspired by Olmsted, created a neighborhood that mirrored the beauty and grace of the Clay family’s historic home and grounds.
Over the next century, the beautiful and eclectic houses that were built on Ashland’s gently curved streets would become home to generations of residents who truly loved the neighborhood and worked tirelessly to keep it beautiful and livable. Today, children play soccer and swing from trees in the neighborhood’s distinctive triangular parks. Neighbors meet while walking their dogs and visit together on shaded front porches. When pin oaks spread a canopy of green in spring . . . when walkers’ feet crunch over a golden carpet of ginkgo leaves in autumn . . . at all times of the year, the residents of the Ashland neighborhood are proud and grateful to call this unique place home.