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Listing No. 6181

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Greek Revival

Shelbyville, Kentucky

Helmwood Farm

Front from SW
Front from SW
1830s Helmwood Hall and Helmwood Farm

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Back from NE
Back from NE
Front Hall
Front Hall
Bedrooms 4
Full Baths 2
Heated Sq. Ft. 3,854
Unheated Sq. Ft. 480
Stories 2
Acres 105


  • 1st Floor Bath
  • 1st Floor Bedroom
  • 1st Floor Laundry Room
  • Breakfast Room
  • Dining room
  • Dry Basement
  • Entry Hall
  • Gourmet Kitchen
  • Laundry Room
  • Library
  • Living room
  • Master bedroom upstairs
  • Barn
  • Driveway - Dirt
  • Fresh paint
  • Gated Entry
  • Pond
  • Porch
  • Restored exterior
  • 2nd Staircase
  • Built-in Bookcases
  • Built-in Cabinets
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Fireplaces
  • Gas Logs
  • Grand staircase
  • High Ceilings
  • Natural gas fireplace
  • Original wood windows
  • Copper Roof
  • Wood floors
  • Shingle Roof
  • Central air
  • City water supply
  • Dishwasher
  • Disposal
  • Gas heating
  • Range
  • Refrigerator
  • Septic Tank
  • Water Heater - Electric
  • 12-foot Ceilings
  • Claw-foot Tub(s)
  • Transoms
  • Wrap-Around Porch

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This listing is archived and is not for sale.

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Helmwood Farm

Helmwood is a pastoral sanctuary nestled in Kentucky’s famed Bluegrass horse farm countryside. The house itself is enough of a dream, but it is complemented by the 105 acres of surrounding tree-shaded lawns, meadows, working fields and deep woods – all connected by mowed paths for walking and driving.

For fanciers of horse racing, two of the world’s most famous tracks are nearby in Louisville (Churchill Downs) and Lexington (Keeneland). Farmers’ markets abound, as do local wineries and the cities’ many noted cultural attractions. Shelby County itself is called (not modestly) the "Saddlebred Horse Capital of the World."

As for Helmwood Hall, built in the heyday of 1830’s Jacksonian democratic ideals, the house is termed "superb" in the history books, and has been called the finest example of Greek Revival domestic architecture in the county. The National Register of Historic Places concurs that "Helmwood Hall is significant as a remarkably intact example of early Greek Revival architecture in a setting that has not been greatly altered. It contains the original woodwork and much of the original hardware, and exists in a setting that retains many original elements including the stone wall, outbuildings, farm ponds, and trees at the property boundary and surrounding the house."

Particularly noteworthy among many other architectural features is the graceful two-story tetrastyle portico over the main entry. Fluted two-story Ionic columns, carved of wood, support the porch and pediment, with an entablature that extends around the house. The handsome wood-carved Ionic capitals that crown the columns are exceptionally fine, with a floral egg-and-dart motif. Sheltered under the porch in the middle bay, the front door is topped by a six-pane transom surmounted by a dentiled cornice, and also has three-paned sidelights with pilasters. Finally, two-story fluted pilasters, rising on either side of the front door, define the entire entrance bay.

The "back side" of the house is as comfortable as the front is formal: wrapping around the inside of the entire L-shaped house is an expansive (480 square ft.) one-story columned and screened porch, which serves as an outdoor living and dining are during spring, summer, and fall.

The 105-acre farm itself, presently having 60% of its land leased for corn/soybean/wheat cropping to a neighboring farmer (with profitable returns to the owners), is seen from the air as boasting more than a half-mile of road frontage. Its acreage is imposing both for its generous woodland/green spaces, and for its rolling, cultivated fields. Connected to the house, meadows, and woods roundabout, there are two ponds, one of which is a nineteenth-century quarry pond mapped on the 1880 atlas of Shelby County (a canoe rests under nearby trees).

The renovations and improvements to the property since 1984 include a complete rebuilding of the huge rear porch, installation of a completely new HVAC system, copper guttering, new electrical services, a new state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, new bathroom, and extensive structural work and general maintenance. The restoration of the house has been widely termed “pristine.”

Archived in March, 2011

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Listing No. 6181

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