Lexington, Ky. (WTVQ): Berry Hill Mansion is a hidden gem for those looking for a unique event venue or historic site. Built by George Franklin Berry in 1900, Berry was a prosperous bourbon and spirit distiller executive with the Frankfort firm of W.A. Gaines and Company, whose wealth is evident in this fine mansion. Consequently these distilleries eventually became the most noteworthy bourbon brands of today such as Buffalo Trace, Castle and Key, and Old Crowe.
Prominent architectural firm, McDonald and Dodd, based out of Louisville, designed the original stone mansion. Berry Hill’s design is a notable example of mansions erected between 1865 and 1917 in the Colonial Revival style. Stones used to build the structure at Juniper Hill came from the property. Therefore the mansion rests on a full stone cellar blasted from solid rock.
Another outstanding feature is an elaborate music room built-in the Gothic Revival style and designed by notable architect William J. Dodd. Two European wood carvers spent two years carving ornamentation for the room pipes rising behind an intricately carved oak grill. Additionally, bay windows, stained glass and a library balcony once used to seat string ensembles further attest to the room’s prominence. The music room was finally completed in 1912 and remains the mansion’s architectural focal point.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky acquired the property in 1957 and it became known as the Berry Hill Estate. Berry Hill originally housed the State Department for Libraries and Archives. Although in the past Berry Hill has been used for state offices, it now serves as Central Kentucky’s premier special event facility.
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