Throwback Thursday – Hobson House restoration project awarded historic preservation medal

Throwback Thursday this week visits one of Bowling Green’s oldest historic homes and landmarks, the Hobson House at Riverview. With an intriguing past that pre-dates the Civil War, preserving original elements of the house has proven difficult over the past 150 years. This month, the local chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is giving an historic preservation award to a regional artist who recently completed a restoration of the Hobson House ceiling.

Kristina Lemmon, founder of Déco Works Studio in Cincinnati, is a professional historic art restorer, focusing on fine art. She was commissioned to restore the failing paint on the Hobson House ceiling. The historic home began construction in 1857, completing in 1872 after the Civil War. The ornate ceiling was originally painted by Fritz Leiber and has undergone several preservation efforts over the years, most notably in 1972 after the City of Bowling Green obtained the property and began museum restoration efforts.

Over time, the plaster work deteriorated and even separated from the underlying wood work. Using the latest technology, Lemmon was able to restore the ceiling to its original Victorian form. For this magnificent achievement in saving area history, the local chapter of the DAR is presenting the Excellence in Historic Preservation medal to Lemmon this month. 

The DAR is a service organization whose three missions are historic preservation, patriotism, and education. Margaret Hobson was one of the original founders of this local Samuel Davies chapter, and the preservation of her family’s home is important to this nonprofit group. Membership is open to all women age 18 or older who have any documented bloodline descent from someone who contributed to the cause of American independence.

The restored Hobson House ceiling can be seen when the house museum is open for tours, usually March to December every Tuesday to Friday.