Thursday, October 7, 2010

Old Morrison and the Gratz Park Historic District (Preview)

Lexington, Kentucky

I've been working diligently on this entry and I'm quite excited about it, but life is getting in the way. Stay tuned! Here's a preview...

The Benjamin Gratz House, Lexington, Kentucky. This house is
one of 16 buildings comprising one of the most historic blocks of
historic structures in the region, the Gratz Park Historic District.
Photo by Lester Jones, 1940, for the Historic American Buildings
Survey (HABS). Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and
Photographs Division.
Gratz Park, named for Dr. Benjamin Gratz who built this house, is one of the most historic areas in the region. Comprised of some 16 buildings in the heart of Lexington, this National Historic Register listed historic district surrounds Gratz Park, the original site of Transylvania University. The University was built across the street following a disastrous fire in 1829 and now includes the National Historic Landmark, Old Morrison Hall (which faces the historic district but is listed separately). Old Morrison is the legendary resting places of a former university botany professor who upon his dismissal from the school, cursed it. Its halls now still echo with his footsteps.

This historic district contains a number of haunted houses brimming with the ghosts of slaves, Civil War soldiers, a few dead children and a possibly violent spirit. Unfortunately, I cannot find any sources stating that the Gratz House is among the haunted buildings, but with its age and history, it would be no surprise if there is some spiritual residue. Look for this entry this weekend!

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