What’s happening at the Library: Gideon Shyrock Kentucky’s First Formally Trained Architect

Published 3:58 pm Monday, December 6, 2021

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By John Maruskin

Library patrons interested in Kentucky History and especially architectural history (a shout-out to you, Chuck Witt!) will appreciate “Gideon Shryock: His Life and Architecture, 1802-1880,” by Winfrey P. Blackburn, Jr and R. Scott Gill. Mr. Blackburn practices law in Louisville. Mr. Gill teaches architectural history and practices real estate in Austin, Texas.

Their book portrays Gideon Shyrock as a man admired by his colleagues and friends, respected by his clients, and beloved by his family.
They chronicle Shyrock’s life and work within the historical context of nineteenth-century Kentucky and show how his buildings stand as testaments to his passion for architecture and to his success awakening Kentucky pioneers and the nation to the nobility of majestic architecture.

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At twenty, Shyrock apprenticed under architectural master, William Strickland, in Philadelphia, becoming Kentucky’s first formally trained architect. Returning home, Gideon Shyrock brought international Greek Revival style to Kentucky and the American West.

He was chosen to design and build the new statehouse in Frankfort. That extraordinary accomplishment launched him toward a remarkable future.

Primarily known for monumental Greek Revival buildings in Frankfort, Lexington, and Louisville, Shyrock also designed houses, churches, commercial buildings, and a patented “steam-boiler furnace.” He became one of the state’s – and the era’s – most important architects.

In his twilight years, he was honored as the first president of the newly created Kentucky Association of Architects.
This is a beautiful coffee table book full of excellent pictures and illustrations. At the moment it’s being cataloged and covered. If you’d like to get on the reserve list, send on email to john.clarkbooks@gmail.com or call 859-744-54661, ext.110.
Reference and Outreach Librarian, Brad Allard, the Library’s Origami Sensei, put together easy instructions for folding an origami Holiday wreath.

These wreaths make great decorations, package attachments, or gifts. Brad’s directions are thorough and easy. Origami paper is also available. Both are located on a table in front of the reference desk. While away a cold afternoon folding origami wreaths and listening to Holiday music.

Pageturner’s Book Group meets live Monday, December 13, 11 AM. “The Family Upstairs,” by Lisa Jewell is the book for December. Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open hoping it holds the key to her identity.

She learns the identity of her birth parents who made her the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion worth millions on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood. What she doesn’t know is others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course toward them.

Copies of “The Family Upstairs” are available at the circulation desk. You’ll be signed up for Pageturners when you check out a copy.
Have a wonderful week. If you’ve got a holiday prep question, the Library has a book with the answer.