Placeography:Featured place/2018-05

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White Hall, 500 White Hall Shrine Road, Richmond, Kentucky

White Hall, the most widely-known historic house in Kentucky, was the residence of the “Lion of White Hall,” Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903). Clay was a Kentucky legislator, U.S. minister to Russia during the Lincoln, Johnson, and Grant administrations (1860-1869), a writer, an orator, a major general in the Union Army, and an outspoken emancipationist. White Hall represents a combination of styles: Georgian in the rear, Greek Revival in the middle, and Italianate in the front. Five complex levels include forty rooms and three passages. The earliest portion is a small two-story brick structure called Clermont. It had been built in the 1790s on the 2,200 acre estate of Gen. Green Clay (1757-1828), a Revolutionary War soldier, Madison County’s largest landowner, and Cassius Clay’s father. A central entrance, interior end chimneys, gable roof, belt course, and stone window lintels were features of the Georgian style Clermont. The restored mansion, now a state shrine, is seasonally open to visitors. This is one of several Kentucky places in Placeography. Welcome new director of the Minnesota Historical Society, Kent Whitworth!

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