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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

The Martin House - In the heart of historic downtown Lexington

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,500 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights


About the property

3 Bedrooms - 2 Bathrooms - Sleeps 6-8

This spacious 2 story brick home centrally located in Lexington’s Historic South Hill district is the perfect spot for Bluegrass area visitors. A unique home, built in 1908, it is registered with the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, and is an intriguing combination of private retreat with modern amenities and downtown convenience. The newly remodeled, completely fenced in back courtyard will keep your pets safe while providing an inviting, peaceful venue for relaxing, and grilling out – but one has only to walk out the front door to discover all that downtown Lexington has to offer. This charming home has lots of character with 10 foot ceilings, hardwood floors and six uniquely tiled fireplace mantles throughout as well as 1st floor screened in porch and 2nd floor balcony overlooking the courtyard and downtown Lexington. Both bathrooms were completely renovated in 2017. Other special features are a cozy seating area in the open, airy kitchen, a beautiful spa like bathroom downstairs, and another quaint seating area located upstairs. A wonderful get away after a long day of sightseeing in central KY!


The Martin House is a late Queen Anne "Free Classic" residence, and is a good example of this transitional period in architectural styles. Sophisticated in it's massing, simple in it's trim, it is balanced between the Queen Anne use of variety of surface and form and the Craftsman emphasis on simplicity.

House History:

Jesse Woodruff and his family lived on this block from 1864 through 1908, first next door and then, from 1893 onwards, on this site in a house whose one story footprint on the 1907 map is much different from the current building's. His relative, Thomas B. Woodruff continued to live next door through at least 1925. The present house was built between 1908 and 1911 when J. M. Martin, agent, Chattanooga Brewing Company, and his family acquired the property. They lived here through 1921.

A 1976 renovation moderinized the interior and the rear of the building while preserving well-cared for details. It served as a duplex until 1983, when it was returned to single-family use.

We acquired the house in April, 2004 and initially planned to return it to duplex form, using one for ourselves and renting the other. However, we fell in love with the entire home and couldn't bear to make those changes! So instead, we started renting it as a vacation home in September, 2005. We found this to be a great compromise as it allows us to share our home with visitors to Lexington, hopefully bringing them great enjoyment, while also being able to stay in and enjoy our home as well!

About our neighborhood:

The South Hill Historic District is a neighborhood of early residential homes adjacent to downtown Lexington. In 1781, Lexington's five-man Board of Trustees successfully petitioned the Virginia Assembly for 710 acres of land that was divided into half-acre and five-acre lots, according to a town plat. "The south hill" was made up of larger lots located outside of the town of Lexington that were soon subdivided. South Hill is so named because in pioneer days the area overlooked the Town Branch of Elkhorn Creek that once flowed through the center of the city. The homes in this district were built over a period of time spanning more than 100 years. The earliest homes were built during the early 19th century and are mainly Federal and Greek Revival styles. Most of the older homes are in the northern half of the district. The district also includes homes built after the Civil War into the early 20th century. Buildings designed by two of Lexington's greatest architects, John McMurtry and Cincinnatus Shyrock, can also be found in this district. The mixture of styles on each street is aesthetically compatible, of similar scale and placed on lots of similar size. However, the scale and lot size on each street differs, with the bordering streets of the district such as South Limestone and South Broadway containing larger houses on larger lots set further back from the street.

This district consists of many homes that were once owned by free African Americans at a time when slavery was still an institution in Kentucky. Prosperous whites lived alongside prosperous African Americans with many middle class citizens also living in the district. The oldest home in Lexington, the Adam Rankin House is located in this district on South Mill Street.

Despite the rapid growth of Lexington and the neighboring University of Kentucky, the South Hill Historic District has remained virtually untouched with some commercial infringement on the outer edges of the community. At one time located on the outskirts of Lexington, the neighborhood is now in the heart of the city.

More Details

Jeannette Bracken
Member since: 2005
Premier Partner

This HomeAway partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
August 14, 2018

About Jeannette Bracken

We began renting our home in 2005, and have found the best thing about it to be helping visitors to Lexington have a unique, memorable experience in our city! We are happy to help with anything you might need in planning your stay, or with any questions that may arise at any time that need a local's input. Our number one goal is to have happy guests!

Jeannette Bracken purchased this house in 2004

Why Jeannette Bracken chose Lexington

We have always loved downtown Lexington, and we couldn't resist this unique property when it came on the market. We love staying here, and really enjoy being able to share it with others that are visiting Lexington.

What makes this house unique

There are so many restaurants within walking distance of our home - you could eat in a different one each night! Also, our home is unique in that it is a 100 year old home with beautiful woodwork, located in the center of a historic district. We recently completed a remodel of our backyard and both bathrooms, so we now find it more charming than ever! :) - hopefully you will too!

Guestbook comments from the owner

We came to The Martin House to get our family together in one place (8 of us)for a few days since we all live many miles apart. We were so pleasantly welcomed with fresh chocolate chip cookies (everyone's favorite!) and fresh flowers all over the house. We felt at home right away. Many rooms, many towels (they were needed with 100 degree temps), lots of comfy beds, and well-stocked kitchen. The owners left a list of suggestions for restaurants & things to see--great! There were lots of things to see within walking distance. We all loved the experience!
Jul 2012
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Lexington House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Max. adults: 6
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Downtown
  • Historic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Filtered Water
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking Off Street
  • Shampoo
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Water Cooler
  • Wireless Internet
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Grill
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , tub , Handheld shower in claw foot tub
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Rear Bedroom - 1 king , Private balcony
    Front bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Front bedroom 2 - 1 double
  • There is a full size sleeper sofa with inflatable mattress in the upstairs den. We also provide a queen sized inflatable mattress on a frame that can be placed anywhere, as well as a full size inflatable mattress that sits on the floor.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Screen Porch / Veranda
  • 6 garden chairs
  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • hospital
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • golf


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(62 traveler reviews)

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The Martin House - In the heart of historic downtown Lexington
average rating of 4.935484 based on 64 reviews

Absolutely Perfect!

  • 5 of 5

We booked the Martin house for a week long family vacation, while we were in KY celebrating the wedding of my daughters best friend. We made so many wonderful memories. The home is beautiful; we especially loved the screened in back porch, where we spent a lot of time laughing and enjoying each others company. Highly recommend for a weekend getaway or full on vacation. The hosts were accommodating and gracious. Thanks for everything!

  • Submitted: Jul 22, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A Wonderful Experience

  • 5 of 5

We were in town for a family reunionand happened upon the house in the app. It was great that we did. It is truly a great home a mix of old and new that fits well together. The backyard is amazing if you have pets as it is fenced in and lots of places for them to explore. The home inside has many places to relax after a day of running around. The beds were very comfortable and as at home we use a sleep number bed it is hard to be comfortable in other beds but these were very comfortable indeed. I would highly recommend this home away from home and when we return definitely hope that this home will be available. The owners are very good at communicating with you and they had cookies waiting for us when we arrived that were simply delicious.

  • Submitted: Jun 25, 2018
  • Stayed: June 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Perfect Weekend

  • 5 of 5

I rented this home with 2 other bridesmaids for our good friend's wedding. It was the perfect setting to get ready in and host a rehearsal lunch. The kitchen came FULLY loaded which made our stay convenient and amazing. There was a beautiful outdoor area for pictures and relaxing. I can't say enough nice things. Also, the downstairs toilet is STATE OF THE ART!

  • Submitted: Jun 5, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Location, Location, Location!

  • 5 of 5

I had the pleasure of staying at the Martin House last weekend to celebrate my niece’s wedding. We wanted to stay in a house instead of getting three rooms at a downtown hotel and clearly made the right decision. The hospitality, location and amenities were all outstanding.

Jeannette was a pleasure to work with during the entire process. She was very accommodating in terms of meeting our needs for an early check in and providing a list of potential restaurants and local attractions. We also had the chance to meet when she made a special trip to drop off a plate of tasty chocolate chip cookies. Jeannette made the house welcoming by having vases of fresh flowers throughout the rooms. She made the house so inviting we immediately felt at home.

I can’t say enough about the perfect location of the house. It is close to downtown which made it easy to access restaurants and nightlife. We were also able to walk to local attractions like the Mary Todd Lincoln house and the Saturday morning farmer’s market. Lexington is a vibrant, friendly city and I feel we were able to experience it more due to our location.

The house had everything we needed. The bedrooms were the perfect temperature for sleeping and in fact we commented we slept better in Lexington than in our own homes! The house has many rooms, which made it great for quiet time alone or gathering together. Our favorite thing about the house was the outdoor spaces. The backyard is like an oasis with a private fence, many flowers and trees. It was very quiet and peaceful and we never missed a morning to have our coffee together at the table. The front porch was also a favorite gathering place to relax at night and greet neighbors as they passed by.

I would highly recommend the Martin House for a stay in Lexington and hope to visit again soon!

  • Submitted: Jun 3, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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It felt like home!!

  • 5 of 5

The space was perfect for our family of 6 adults and 3 children. And the beautiful backyard was a bonus place to gather with family! The included amenities made our stay worry-free and comfortable! 2 off-street parking spaces and 2 on-street parking passes made parking easy. Location was perfect for experiencing the wonderful downtown dining and entertainment community!

  • Submitted: May 1, 2018
  • Stayed: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great homey house in an awesome location.

  • 5 of 5

Visiting Lexington and we felt like we were home. Relaxing back Patio with a grill. Fullly stocked kitchen. Comfy all the way around.

  • Submitted: Apr 15, 2018
  • Stayed: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
6.3 Miles
Bluegrass Airport (LEX)
Nearest Golf
5 Miles
Tates Creek Golf Course
Nearest Motorway
5 Miles
I-64 and I-75
Car: recommended

Walking distance: University of Kentucky Basketball, UK Campus,

Transylvania University Campus, Kentucky Theatre, The Opera House,

The Civic Center, Children’s Museum, Lexington Farmer’s Market, Rupp

Arena, many fine restaurants and nightclubs Nearby: Keeneland, Applebee's Park (Home of the Lexington Legends),

Ky Horse Park, UK Arboretum, Red Mile Harness Racing Track, Raven

Run Nature Sanctuary, Commonwealth Stadium (Home of UK Football) In the region: Shaker Village, Woodford Reserve Distillery, Old Fort

Harrod State Park, Ky State Capitol, Red River Gorge


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $500
Changeover Fee $125 + Tax
Pet Fee $175 + Tax
Insurance Fee $25 + Tax

Minimum stay is 3-4 nights.
Pet Fee is $25/ night for first dog, $15/ night for second dog. Other pets may be considered, ask us :)

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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