Historic Holt Home
The Joseph Holt Home, a three-story brick structure, is located on State Highway 144 one mile west of Addison, Kentucky. The home is situated in a grove of trees on a plain, with the Ohio River in view to the north. The western two-thirds of the home dates from 1850, with the east wing added in the 1870’s. The home has many features of an Italianate villa.
Over the windows are cast iron lintels: flat lintels on the first story, pedimented over shallow arches on the second floor. An unusual feature is the Palladian windows in the gables, which have continuous entablatures that curve up into central round arches, and the sills seem clasped into the wall. The Palladian windows are not only more plastic that is, sculptural than the other openings, but they seem out of scale They are diminutive but rich, while the windows are long and attenuated with skimpy ornamentation.
Another peculiar feature is the way the dormers break the bracketed cornice. They seem to perform a double function as attic windows (often between paired brackets within the cornice itself) and dormers on the roof. Over five bays of the front extends a very finely ornamented cast iron porch with a projecting central bay.
The walls of the house are 14" thick. The ground floor has three 20' by 22' rooms with 14' ceilings. Another 20' by 22' room used as a kitchen and dining room extends off the back of the house. The second floor has three 20' by 22' rooms with 12' ceilings. The third floor is the same only with 10' ceilings. Between each of the three rooms on each floor there is a 12' hallway with a winding staircase that extends to all three levels.
The rear ell has porches on both sides and there is a two-story porch with exterior staircase on the back of the main block.
Through the relentless efforts of Susan B. Dyer and The Friends of the Holt Home, the historical importance of Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt and the Holt Home is being made well known to people all across Breckinridge County, Kentucky and across the nation. The home is currently undergoing a complete restoration.
With the beginning of the spring season, many improvements have been made. Historic sidewalks have been uncovered, all front windows restored along with the pediments above them. With a grant, the Friends group has installed a security system for the home and cleaned the fence rows and grounds. Recently, permission was received to utilize the Save America’s Treasures Grant ($150,000 grant, 50-50 match) for restoration on the back of the home. This will be accomplished during the summer.
In addition, a concrete wall around the front porch (not original) has been removed. The Friends also have installed new picnic tables and a fence has been removed for restoration.
A consultant, Kim Nyberg, has been employed to develop a site use plan for the home. That activity has been funded by a grant from the National Trust of Historic Preservation.
The Holt Home received a $500,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant for Phase II renovation from Kentucky and with assistance from Gov. Stephen Beshear’s administration and a $199,000 tax credit (same as cash) from the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Preservation Office.