Friday, December 31, 2010

Day Trip of the Month: Midway, KY

While back in my Kentucky stomping ground for the Holidays, we visited Midway, KY and I thought it would be the perfect town to highlight for my 'Day Trip' series! Midway is a small village of a town that mushroomed around the construction of the railroad starting in the 1830s. The town derives its name from being situated roughly halfway between Frankfort and Lexington.

In 1915, a fire destroyed a large portion of Railroad Street, however, the town of Midway rebounded and continued to thrive, especially throughout the early twentieth century when nearly 30 trains passed through the community on a daily basis. Like many small towns founded with the coming of the railroad, train traffic and growth declined from the mid-twentieth century onward in Midway as the automobile trumped all other forms of transportation. However, Midway experienced a rebirth starting in the mid-1970s as new antique shops, restaurants and art galleries located in the once-empty storefronts.

 Today Midway is a quaint bustling community surrounded by horse farms and enjoys a steady stream of tourists and locals alike who frequent its restaurants and shops. A variety of cafes, lunch spots, and upscale bistros make Midway a popular destination for good eats. Some of my favorites include Quirk Cafe, Wallace Station, and Holly Hill Inn. 

Midway features Victorian storefronts, 1920s Colonial Revival commercial buildings and even early Greek Revival and Federal-inspired residential architecture. During the 1970s several buildings making up a historic district were nominated to and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

These two windows appear as if they are part of two separate buildings,
but were once part of the same brick structure, evidenced by the identical
brick dentil cornices, arched window openings and corbelled brick lintels.
The portion of the building on the left has merely been painted to resemble a
separate building. Unfortunately, both of these window openings are missing
their original sash and have been filled with incompatible replacement windows.

Midway always impresses and inspires me with its charm and judicious preservation efforts, and I always enjoy checking out the new antique stores and shops that have opened up since my last visit. I highly recommend adding Midway to your 'Day Trip' list! 

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