Riverview at Hobson Grove, also known as Riverview or Hobson House, is a historic home with classic Italianate architecture in western Bowling Green, Kentucky. Its construction started in the 1850s but was interrupted by the Civil War. The house played a part in Civil War activities in the area. It was completed in 1872. Restored as representative of the Victorian period, it is the centerpiece of Hobson Grove Park in the city. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
Riverview at Hobson Grove was built as the home of Atwood Gaines Hobson and his wife Juliet “Julia” (van Meter) Hobson on a small promontory. It was named because of its proximity to and overview of the Barren River. Construction on the house started in the 1850s but was halted due to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Because Atwood Hobson was a staunch Union supporter, and his eldest son, William, was commissioned as a colonel in the Union Army, the family was concerned about protecting this property. The commanding officer of the Confederate troops, Simon Bolivar Buckner, who had fought with Atwood’s brother, Edward, in the Mexican–American War, agreed to spare the partially built house. His troops built a temporary roof over the basement to use it as a munition’s magazine during the winter of 1861–1862 when Bowling Green was the Confederate capital of Kentucky.
Riverview was finally completed in 1872. It is a classic example of Italianate architecture with arched windows, deep eaves with ornamental brackets, and a cupola. The two parlors have painted ceilings. Atwood and Juliet Hobson incorporated unique ideas for their era into this home. A copper-lined wooden collection tank in the attic, connected to the outside guttering, provided running water for the water closet on the second floor. Another innovation beneath the cupola is a hole in the ceiling, sometimes called an oculus, which is part of the house’s ventilation system. When the eight windows in the observatory are open, and the windows and doors are open on the floors below, a vacuum is created, pulling the hot air up and out of the house, keeping the air continuously circulating. It works much as an attic fan would work in a home today. A1 Pest Control of Bowling Green
The Hobson family and their descendants lived in the house until 1952. After having a string of various successive tenants and being damaged by fire, the structure was abandoned and condemned in 1965. The city of Bowling Green purchased the property to demolish the house and build a golf course. The house was saved when a non-profit organization, the Hobson House Association, was formed the next year. It raised funds to restore the dwelling to its Victorian style and ensure its preservation. The proposed golf course was built nearby and can be viewed from the hill upon which Riverview sits.
Address: 1100 W Main Ave, Bowling Green, KY
Check out other attractions like Aviation Heritage Park