Thomas Lewinski | Bluegrass Architects to Know

When Thomas Lewinski arrived in Lexington in 1842, he was among the first professional architects in the region that included Gideon Shryock & John McMurtry. Born in London to a Polish father and English mother, Lewinski had pursued the priesthood before finding he was more suited to military life. The British Army brought him to Spain and South America, where he lost an eye. Eventually, he made his way to Louisville, serving as an architecture and engineering instructor at the University.

His second marriage, to Mary Watkins (a niece of Henry Clay), brought him to the Bluegrass region. Familial connections-and skill- led to projects at Ashland, followed by homes for Clay’s sons. For Thomas Clay, he designed the Federal cottage Mansfield on Richmond Road, followed by the “Clay Villa” found in the Bell Court neighborhood for son James B. Clay.

Numerous residences are attributed to Lewinski. A handful of projects were completed in partnership with architect John McMurtry. While often referred to as a “Greek Revival” architect, Lewinski worked in a variety of of other styles including Gothic, Federal, Italianate and Tuscan Revival. 

Lewinski’s prolific career lasted a little over a decade. He then accepted a job with the Lexington Gas Company, serving there until his retirement. Upon his death in 1888, Lewinski was buried in an unmarked grave within his family plot- in the shadows of his famed Henry Clay monument.

Residences Attributed to Lewinski 

The Bell House for David Sayre 

Cane Run/Glengary Ward Hall (Scott Co.) 

Whitehall Remodel (Madison Co.) 

Ashland Remodel 


Clay Villa 

Thomas January House 

The Kinkead House (now home to the Living Arts & Science Center) 

James Burnie Beck House 

Hayfield (Louisville)

Allenhurst/Oakland (Scott Co.)

Vinewood (Clark Co.) 

Brand- Barrow House/Elmwood/Elmside Remodel 

& likely many more

Buildings, Churches, & Monuments 

Christ Church Episcopal 

Henry Clay Monument at the Lexington Cemetery

Jacobs Hall at the Kentucky School for the Deaf (Danville) 

Madison County Courthouse (Richmond) 

Sayre Female Institute 

“Lunatic Asylum”

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