This home of then Senator John and Eliza Pope was built in 1811. It was designed by noteworthy architect Benjamin Henry Labtrobe, who was one of the designers of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. and is known as the Father of American Architecture. This home is currently being restored and is one of just three remaining residential homes designed by Latrobe.
The home, known as the Pope Villa, is nearly 6,000 square
feet. It is a perfect square plan with a domed rotunda in the middle. The
two-story brick was unlike other homes at the time. The main rooms were on the
second floor. The home did not feature a central hallway. The rooms are both rectilinear
and curvilinear, and Latrobe’s use of windows for natural light and shadow made
it very unique.
The home did receive many alterations through the years and
was divided up and turned into apartments at one time. It was damaged in a fire
in 1987. The Latrobe House is now owned by the Blue Grass Trust for Historic
Preservation. The home is being restored to its original style. Tours are
available by appointment.
John Pope was a lawyer, senator and later was the
Territorial Governor of Arkansas. Eliza Pope, sister-in-law of John Quincy
Adams, is said to have been active in the design of the home as well.