Historic House Driveway Relocation?

by Craig Dawson
(Paris, Kentucky )

Here is the house from the road.  As indicated, it is about 400 feet from the road.

Here is the house from the road. As indicated, it is about 400 feet from the road.

I was very excited to come across your web site. This past summer I purchased a late 1800's farm house in a rural Bourbon County, Kentucky Historic District along with 100 acres. The driveway as it is needs attention. Before I put any money into improving it, I would like your opinion on relocating it to the center of the house instead of it running along the side of the house as it currently exists.

The house sits along a rural county road that is only 10 feet wide. The house has a front yard that is approximately 2 acres and 400 feet from the road. For security purposes I feel I need to fence the front of the house with plank and add stone columns with a security gate. As the driveway currently stands, it has a rather steep drop to its right as you enter it from the county road. I suppose that drop off could be addressed and the fence along side the driveway moved over some, but before doing this I would be curious if you think the driveway would be better suited coming up the center of the property toward the house.

There is a large maple tree approximately 30 feet from the house front porch. The width of the house front is 47 feet. If I were to relocate the driveway to the center of the house, I had considered keeping it back away from the house a bit so that it didn't appear that the house had a ton of gravel right in the front door. Possibly in front of the maple tree?

The house is in the early stages of renovation, therefore there is virtually no landscaping at all around it at this point.

I would welcome your opinion on what you think would be ideal in terms of the driveway location and configuration? I would prefer guests have an opportunity to enter the house from the front as opposed to the back as they currently do (since the driveway ends at the back door). There does however need to be access to the back of the house as well for myself.

I am appreciative of any feedback you would offer.

Warm regards,
Craig Dawson

Dear Craig,

What a beautiful house and property! I agree that you need a driveway that brings people to the front door and shows off the front of the house.

Instead of bringing the driveway straight from the road, I think a curved driveway to an oval shaped, circular driveway would be beautiful. It would also be in keeping with an historical house, be easy to navigate and look nice when viewing the house from the road. Relocating the fence by the entrance would allow you to create a balanced appearance with plantings. The oval would be centered on the front door(in front of the maple or behind, it's hard to tell where it bests fits) with drivers entering the oval looking directly at the front door. You are fortunate to have so much acreage in front of the house because you have room to create a nice gentle curve from the entrance to the point of the oval. You can then have access to the back door (private parking) curve off the oval on the side. A road straight to the back off the main leg of the driveway is also a possibility, if it doesn't confuse visitors and take away from the appearance of the front.

The curved driveway is also more in keeping with a rural setting and a farmhouse.

I hope this information helps!

Thanks for your question,


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