Lexington man working to preserve Victorian-era home after wall collapse

Lexington man working to preserve weather damaged Victorian-era home
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 5:50 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Victorian-era home in the heart of downtown Lexington was condemned last month after a brick wall began to collapse. Now, the homeowner is fighting to save a slice of history.

For more than 20 years, Art Mize has called an 1890′s victorian era house along North Broadway home.

“It’s a strange thing to choose to live in a historic house because you don’t have closets,” said Mize. “There’s just things about it; you’re always repairing something.”

Inside the brick walls, he fostered future musicians, teaching lessons focusing primarily on stringed instruments.

But In mid-December, Mize noticed sunlight was seeping in from the side.

"I went and looked, and the wall had swung out, and I called folks at the city and talked about it, and they came and looked at it, and it the whole process has kind of moved from there, what needs to happen," said Mize. "It has accelerated from that point. "

By the end of December, the wall began to collapse. Mize’s neighbors were forced out due to safety concerns, and Mize had to remove his beloved instruments due to the risk of exposure to the elements.

Mize says he’s not ready to let this place go.

“I have a deep attachment to the building for all of those sentimental reasons, but I also love what Lexington represents as a place with lots of historic architecture,” said Mize.

Mize’s fight to preserve and protect this structure and its memories will continue in the coming weeks and months. He says its future is uncertain, but he will keep forging ahead until the music runs out.

Mize says he filed an insurance claim but was initially denied.

"Ultimately, I’m attached, emotionally and sentimentally, all of my memories about it," said Mize. "When I’m gone, that doesn’t matter. That building can still be here to inspire people to see part of the culture of Lexington and appreciate the beauty of our city."

Mize says he’s been in communication with the Historical Preservation Society, code enforcement and his insurance company to try and come up with the next steps. They will need to stabilize each floor before they can rebuild the wall from the ground up.

Mize has also started a GoFundMe page to try and crowd-fund some dollars to secure the foundation and flooring.