316 West Dixie, Elizabethtown, KY: The Garnett House

One house down from the home featured in my previous post is 316 West Dixie, or the Garnett House & Executive Offices.  Also a recently abandoned building, Google maps confirms that back in August of 2013, this home was inhabited…though based on the rocking chair and motorcycle on the front porch, it doesn’t exactly appear office-like.

316 w dixie

This side-view of the home from July of 2008 reveals that there’s more to this place that what it seems…the backyard and all that lies therein opens up an entirely new set of questions.

316 w dixie side

But let’s not find me getting ahead of myself this early in the post.  You’ve seen the before pictures.  All photos to follow are present-day.

316 W Dixie, looking a bit more lonely these days with boarded windows and doors, the rocking chairs long gone.
316 W Dixie, looking a bit more lonely these days with boarded windows and doors, the rocking chairs long gone.
View of the right side of the house from the front.
View of the right side of the house from the front.
Close-up of the front right window.
Close-up of the front right window
View of the left side of the house.  Running immediately down this side is a small road called Thomas Street.
View of the left side of the house. Running immediately down this side is a small road called Thomas Street.

At this point, I took Thomas Street, which runs along the left side of the house, toward the backyard.

View of the back of the house.
View of the back of the house.
Back of the house, a small outbuilding in the left background.
Back of the house, a small outbuilding in the left background.  It may not be visible in this resolution, but the sign on the door at the bottom of the steps reads “laundry”.
Back of the house on the left side.
Back of the house on the left side.

At this point, I imagine you may be scratching your head and thinking, What in the heck is this blogger trying to show me that’s so significant in the backyard?  Standby, gentle reader.  From the back porch area, let’s look into the back yard.

Looking toward Thomas Street from the back porch area.  What you're seeing is a small office-like building ahead to the center of the photo and trailer homes to the right.
Looking toward Thomas Street from the back porch area. What you’re seeing is a small office-like building ahead to the center of the photo and trailer homes to the right.

In the backyard, we found a parking area immediately off Thomas Street, a courtyard-like area (pictured in the foreground of the above photo), a small white building that sits right on Thomas Street, and a bunch of trailers that seem to reside permanently in the backyard along the property line.  If you scroll back up to the Google Maps screenshots, you’ll notice that in the second shot that looks down Thomas Street shows a parking lot and this small white building.

The back of the house from the parking lot.
The back of the house from the parking lot.
Taken from the parking lot off Thomas Street and looking west toward the trailers and small office-like building to the left.
Taken from the parking lot off Thomas Street and looking west toward the trailers and small office-like building to the left.  Note the parking lot area has reserved parking by apartment number.
At the edge of the property line that borders on the nextdoor 318 W Dixie, the trailers are tenuously suspended on brick piles over a bricked creek, now empty, that flows under the Dixie Highway and westward.
At the edge of the property line that borders on the next door 318 W Dixie, the trailers are tenuously suspended on brick piles over a bricked creek, now empty, that flows under the Dixie Highway and westward.
We decide to take a stroll in this empty canal.
We decide to take a stroll in this empty canal.
The canal runs past a little white and red building that sits perched over the canal just behind the house.
The canal runs past a little white and red building that sits perched over the canal just behind the house.
The red and white building near the main house.
The red and white building near the main house.

It’s hard to describe the layout in text, so please reference the hand little paint map I made you below in case you’re beyond lost in this backyard.

316 w dixie overview

Intrigued by this office building/trailer park HQ/apartment complex, we decided to poke around a bit.  We started out at what we assumed may have been an office at one point as this structure stood near the parking lot at 102 Thomas Street.

The office building from Thomas Street.
The office building from Thomas Street.
The front of the office building as it sits on Thomas Street.  This building appears to have been built in phases, the part of the building on the far right having been built first.  Despite all sense that would decry such a conclusion, it appeared that this building may have started out as a chicken coop and been modified for human use at a later time.
The front of the office building as it sits on Thomas Street. This building appears to have been built in phases, the part of the building on the far right having been built first. Despite all sense that would decry such a conclusion, it appeared that this building may have started out as a chicken coop and been modified for human use at a later time.
The front door area, which sits to the south west of the building.
The front door area, which sits to the south west of the building.
An open door on the part of the building that faces the trailers lets us come in for a bit of exploration.
An open door on the part of the building that faces the trailers lets us come in for a bit of exploration.
Not a lot to see, as is usually the case.
Not a lot to see, as is usually the case.
View of the trailers standing to the west of the white office building.
View of the trailers standing to the west of the white office building.
While these trailers didn't' appear particularly new, it was also obvious that they hadn't been standing abandoned for long.
While these trailers didn’t’ appear particularly new, it was also obvious that they hadn’t been standing abandoned for long.

P1040182

We hopped up on a trailer hitch for a peek inside.  Definitely hasn't been deserted for long.
We hopped up on a trailer hitch for a peek inside. Definitely hasn’t been deserted for long.
The other curious structure we found was this little building that is just west of the white office building.
The other curious structure we found was this little building that is just west of the white office building.

Having thoroughly explored the backyard, we completed our round-the-house tour.

Looking between the red and white building and the right side of the house toward Dixie.
Looking between the red and white building and the right side of the house toward Dixie.
Photo taken from the canal looking at the right back side of the house and the red and white building.
Photo taken from the canal looking at the right back side of the house and the red and white building.
The right side of the house.  This photo was taken from the canal.
The right side of the house. This photo was taken from the canal.

And that’s it for the photos!  When I searched for this house on Google, I went with a few questions in mind.

1.  What did this house start out as?  Single family vs. apartment/boarding house?
2.  The main house is huge.  Is the back half of this house an addition?  The mere size as well as a difference in roof profile (see the most recent photo and pay attention to the roofline in front of and behind the drainpipe) suggest that it may have experienced a sizeable addition at some point in its history.
3.  This house has served a lot of purposes.  It was clearly an office building at one point as the sign out front says, but it was also used at some point as an office/services building for a trailer park (hence the trailers that remain in the back yard) and also as actual apartments (check out the photo above once more and note the staircases leading down from different doors on the structure, suggesting that the house had been divided up into different units).  Which came first?  Are the reserved parking spots in the parking lot off Thomas Street for the tenants of the main house or for the trailer tenants?
4.  When was it built?
5.  How many rooms does it have?

Thankfully, I found a few sites that helped me answer at least a few of these questions.

First, the site below indicates that this house was built in 1910–the same year that its neighbor at 318 W Dixie was built.  The same site indicates that the house was a single-family dwelling with a whopping 6 beds, 4 baths and 4,478 square feet.  Last sale was in February of 2007 for $255,000.
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/316-W-Dixie-Ave-Elizabethtown-KY-42701/96951627_zpid/

My next site hit was one that dealt with the Garnett House, the executive offices that once occupied the building.  The info shows that the Garnett House was incorporated in 2007 and was categorized under investment offices.  It employed about 2 staff and grossed $130,000 annually.
http://www.manta.com/c/mmy27mh/garnett-house-llc?utm_expid=82789632-28.cEgZ_XOVRPaI6jwvn6oKhQ.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D14%26ved%3D0CC4QFjADOAo%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.manta.com%252Fc%252Fmmy27mh%252Fgarnett-house-llc%26ei%3DatuHVJuAGMqVNoKlhMAH%26usg%3DAFQjCNFIXnEIOSOWW1vJpUd2IMDVjlXnjA%26sig2%3DTo5vZQsdoPYUQNCQx9scEA

 

I also found a site that gives the 316 W Dixie address as the office and location of City Mobile Park.  While there is no information on the site regarding when the mobile park functioned, when it shut down, etc, it was nice to find a name to put to the stray trailers that remain on the site.
http://www.mhbo.com/mobile-home-park/25715-city-mobile-park-316-w-dixie-ave-elizabethtown-ky-42701

Finally, my last hit was a website that shows one of the building’s former renters (in an official capacity, anyway): one Janice Jefferson, attorney.
http://attorneys.elizabethtown.ypeek.com/results.htm?pid=p102&sub=elizabethtown&what=Attorneys&where=Elizabethtown%2C+KY&id=455713043

Thanks for reading once again!  This is the wayward wanderlust at the Garnett House signing out.

P1040215

 

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2 thoughts on “316 West Dixie, Elizabethtown, KY: The Garnett House

  1. Just stumbled across your pages doing a Google search of 318 W. Dixie because I’m so sick it was torn down! You couldn’t see it because of the boarding up, but it still had the original hardwood staircase (huge!) and lots of cool untouched architecture in the foyer. Thanks for the photos! Sometimes it only seems that we imagined these great old homes once they’re gone..

    Like

    • Hi Gayle,

      Thanks for your comment! I had been browsing Google maps recently (I’m no longer in the Elizabethtown area) and noticed that the house and its neighbor were both gone! I saw your other comment and wow, what a poor excuse to tear down a historic home! This is such a disappointment, especially after reading your post on just how much of the house was original. The folks in Etown should be ashamed of themselves–I only wish I could’ve seen the interior before it was gone!

      Like

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