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March 7, Haviland Argo, Committee Member, Pope Villa, Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation

Posted on Mar 1, 2024

LEXINGTON, KY – The Rotary Club of Lexington held its weekly meeting on Thursday, Mar. 7, at The Mane on Main, Chase Bank building on Main St. The program’s guest speaker was Haviland Argo, committee members, Pope Villa, BlueGrass trust for Historic Preservation.

This meeting will also be on Zoom. For the Zoom link please email, [email protected].

If you would like to have lunch, please contact [email protected] to reserve your meal.

The Most Important Home in America Is in Lexington, Ky.

Haviland Argo grew up on a farm in Harrison County, Kentucky. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kentucky where he was in the Honors Program and a Gaines Fellow.  He received a Masters in Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Haviland worked in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Work Architecture Company (WorkAC), and REX, firms associated with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas. He joined Gray Construction, building 21c Museum Hotel Louisville and went on to represent the owners during the construction of the chain’s hotels in Cincinnati, Durham, and Lexington.

Most recently, Haviland designed and managed the construction of a visitors experience focusing on food, bourbon, and horses at legendary Hermitage Farm in Goshen, Kentucky.  The project features a visitors center, museum, greenhouse, gardens, outdoor ArtWalk, and Barn8 Restaurant and Bourbon Bar, named one of the top 47 restaurants in America by USA Today in February, 2023.

At the University of Kentucky, Haviland has taught architecture studios for graduates and undergraduates, served as a member of the Advisory Council for the UK Alumni Association, and currently sits on the School of Architecture’s Advisory Board.

Haviland has served as a board member for LexArts and the Lexington Art League and is an active member of the Pope Villa Committee for the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation.  He has exhibited and lectured at multiple institutions across the U.S.

Latrobe’s Pope Villa

Completed in Lexington in 1813, the Pope Villa was designed by America’s first professional architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, for Senator John Pope and his wife Eliza. The Pope Villa was radical for its time. In this structure, Latrobe sought to create a new house type that could embody the ideals and aspirations of the young American republic.

Among his many projects, Latrobe contributed to the design of the White House and was the main architect of the U.S. Capitol.  Of the sixty residential structures Latrobe designed in his lifetime, only three stand today, Lexington’s Pope Villa being perhaps his greatest.

With American democracy seemingly under attack, this presentation examines how the Pope Villa can serve as an example for–and the site of–a greater understanding of what it means to be American.


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