Fisher-Byington House






The Reed farm, located south of Danville, was sold to Jeremiah Fisher in 1840. Fisher then hired Robert Russell, Jr. to design and construct a large two-story Greek Revival residence south of Danville. 1 4 Russell was the same architect responsible for designing and constructing Old Centre, the McClure-Barbee House, and other notable structures in the region.

Fisher developed the first rental property along Second Street near the city square in 1817 and managed them until 1850. Walter Byington, born on May 8, 1861, became a teacher at the two-room Sycamore School in Forkland in the 1920s and then principal at Forkland High School after it opened in 1930. 2 Byington also served as superintendent of the Danville Independent Schools.

First Southern National Bank later owned the Fisher-Byington House with the goal to renovate the building into a funeral home. 4 The bank came into financial complications due to the high cost of restoring the structure. In 2013, the house was sold to James Durham of Self Refined, a drug treatment company. Durham wanted to restore the residence into Self Refined’s corporate headquarters until it was discovered that the structure needed $1 million worth of repairs, making the plan financially unsound. Durham listed the house for $300,000 which went unanswered until P.J. Feistritzer agreed in November 2015 to purchase the building contingent on a zoning change. 5

On November 4, Feistritzer applied for a zoning change for the Fisher-Byington House from low-density residential to highway commercial, with the intent of razing the house and the surrounding mobile homes and replacing it with self-storage units. The zoning change was unanimously approved on December 2, clearing the path for Feistritzer to formally purchase the Fisher-Byington House. 5

Demolition began in January 2014 for the storage units. 5






Further Reading


Sources

  1. Merritt, Lindsay. “Familiar Faces and Places.” Danville. Charleston: Arcadia, 2011. 122. Print.
  2. Edwards, Brenda S. “Professor Byington was principal at Forkland and Sycamore schools.” Central Kentucky News. N.p., 22 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.
  3. “Early Stations in Boyle County, Kentucky.” Boyle, Ky. Genealogy. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.
  4. Kleffman, Todd. “Fate of Historic Mansion Remains Uncertain.” Advocate Messenger, 6 Nov. 2015. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.
  5. Kleffman, Todd. “Zone change granted; historic Danville home faces wrecking ball.” Advocate Messenger, 2 Dec. 2015. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.

18 Comments

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I ran across this site and discussion of the Fisher-Byington house in Danville. I also photographed the house inside and out before the sale, during the salvage process and the actual demo of the house. I spent weeks there photographing as much as possible in hopes of keeping some type of history/documentation of the house. I was happy to see that 90% of this house was salvaged and carefully removed & I was excited to be there to photograph every step. This house is gone now & replaced by storage units (Is there that much demand for storage units) There were so many plans and ideas for the house, but money always shot the ideas down. I have photographs of the house before and during its last days. I be happy to share if you’d like to send me an email

I would really like to see what info etc on this old mansion in Danville Kentucky!
Another historic building bites the dust!
How sad for our history❗❗

Thanks for the photos of the old house. Someone who is good with computer graphics programs should use those photos to re-create what the house would have looked like when it was new. That would be interesting to see.

God knows we need self storage units far more that we need to preserve our heritage. Can’t have too many self storage units. Probably didn’t have any other place they could have put those self storage units, either.

Has anyone been in it recently? I see a few items of architectural salvage in the pics. Just wondered if there are others.

I would be surprised if Shakertown would take it. It does not fit their mission. And Centre has torn down so many old buildings over the years another one coming down is of no concern to them. At this point it really is finding a private party as Logan suggested above. And given the time the building has been on the market I don’t have high hopes. The current owner of the property is only interested in being free from the property. He has said he will sell to anyone but the current offer requires removal of the building and they (current owner & future owner) are well on their way to making that happen.

I emailed Centre College, since this house was designed by the architect who designed Old Centre as was noted in your post. Also contacted Shakertown. Suggested that it be bought perhaps by the college and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and used as a history restoration teaching lab. Haven’t heard anything. The nice lady from Preservation Kentucky emailed back with some suggestions to contact the owner. City of Danville said that they are scheduled to meet on January 24 to approve a zone change. However, I do not know the owner, nor do I have the money to buy it—I wish I did.

My father Walter M Byington was born in that house. It belonged to his grandfather. He has a lot on informAtion on the Professor Byington., including. A sheepskin diploma he would like to present to the rightful owners descendants . I can be reached at beckychild@icloud.com

It is too bad America does not have the protections for historic properties that the United Kingdom has. This would become a scheduled property in the U.K. and would receive protection under the law. America is young as a nation and these buildings would be considered relatively new in Europe. However the U. S. will never be able to replace these historic buildings when they are gone and will not have the historic structures to compliment history in the future. It is a national sin to allow the physical history represented by these buildings to be lost for all future generations. It is happening all the time in the States. Very sad.

At one point, from 1908 to at least 1920, this home was owned by my great grandfather, Mitchel Daugherty Taylor (1860-1933). I have followed recent developments, and understand that the house cannot be safely inhabited, as it has so badly deteriorated. Restoring it, on site, would be uneconomic, as it no longer fits the neighborhood. That said, someone in Danville or central Kentucky — either an individual or public entity for a museum — would score well on historic preservation points (and probably as an economic investment) if they were to purchase it for $1, deconstruct it brick by brick and board by board, and reconstruct it at a more appropriate neighborhood in Boyle Count, or elsewhere in central Kentucky.

The current owners of this building, the Self-Refined company, are seeking a zoning change that would allow them to tear down this building and put up three storage buildings.

I should like to see a picture of Professor Byington. My mother and aunts went to school and were educated by him, and I heard about him all my life. Is that possible? Thanking you in advance.

I love old mansions. I document them thru my lens. I was wondering if there is anyway I could tour the home and take pics.

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