The news came yesterday that lightning had claimed the iconic Little House. The preservation community is devastated, with emotions ranging from sadness to disbelief. Cate Short summed it up: I still can’t believe that lightning missed her for 170 years and then struck her when she was finally being given the love she needed.
The J. C. Little House was perhaps the most famous in Louisville, and stood empty and neglected for many years. Known affectionately to some as “Louise”, it had recently become a symbol of perseverance in the preservation community.When it seemed all hope for its future was lost, Kevin and Laine Berry came to its rescue, determined to return it to its former glory. They regularly shared the progress on the Gothic Revival landmark on their various social media accounts. My heart goes out to them, and to all who have embraced this admirable project.
I drove up to Louisville today to see the ruins of the house myself. One of the second floor dormers was still visible.
That any of the house remains is a testament to the hard work done by the Louisville Fire Department and firefighters from all over Jefferson County.
So sad. The house was remarkable – as are the owners. They really understand preservation and do everything correctly. I so hope this devastating loss will not deter them from future projects. My heart aches for them and their loss.
Thanks for reporting the loss of the Little House. I lived in Louisville briefly as a boy and have admired the house on my occasional trips to Augusta, going out of my was to revisit this remarkable city and former state capital. The Augusta “backcountry” of the early republic era is in some ways the most important and endangered architectural fabric in the sate. Keep up your important work.