Eleven grants generating $143,944 of investment have been awarded to eight Certified Local Government (CLG) communities, according to the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC), which administers the program. The annual allocations fund qualifying projects submitted by city and county-wide historic preservation commissions that have earned CLG designation.
Recipients are Bardstown, Bellevue, Covington, Danville, Horse Cave, Maysville, Newport and Shelbyville. Proposed projects range from educational training and workshops to historic building surveys, preparing historic district nominations to the National Register of Historic Places including a boundary expansion, updating local historic district design guidelines, and enhancing interactive and instructional features of a historic district commission website initially developed with a previous grant.
For 2016, grants of $86,367 were matched by $57,578 of community investment. Grant funds come from KHC’s annual federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) allocation and require a local match of at least 40 percent. (Grant/match amounts and project descriptions follow.)
Kentucky currently has 23 designated CLGs. Nineteen grant projects were submitted, and those recommended for funding were approved by the KHC board earlier this year. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2017.
CLG designation offers a way for local governments to develop a comprehensive approach to historic preservation and promote the integration of preservation interests into the planning process. To qualify, local governments must meet five broad standards, including enacting a historic preservation ordinance and appointing a qualified preservation commission or architectural review board. In addition to grant eligibility, CLG benefits include access to technical assistance from KHC and the National Park Service.
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and KHC. Last year, the communities of Bellevue and Covington partnered to create a third video in an educational series they have produced to better inform residents about the CLG program and the benefits of preserving historic buildings. “Northern Kentucky Preservation at 50: From Saving Houses to Creating Places” commemorates this milestone year and the role historic preservation has played in revitalizing these communities. View it at https://vimeo.com/176212525.
“The CLG grant program has assisted several preservation-focused communities with educating property owners, expanding eligibility for and use of historic rehabilitation tax credits, identifying new resources for national and local designation, updating design guidelines to include renewable energy technologies, and so much more,” said Vicki Birenberg, KHC’s CLG Program and planning coordinator. “It is a vital component to strengthening and expanding historic preservation efforts throughout the state.”
At least 10 percent of Kentucky’s HPF apportionment is required to go toward CLG grants. Funded projects, and qualified professionals engaged in training, must adhere to the Secretary of the Interior’s standards and guidelines. Grants cannot be used to acquire or rehabilitate historic buildings.
Eligible CLGs may apply for the next round of grants in early 2017. For information about becoming a CLG community, contact Birenberg at 502-564-7005, ext. 126, email Vicki.Birenberg@ky.gov or visit www.heritage.ky.gov.
2016 Certified Local Government historic preservation grants
Bardstown, $12,979 ($7,546 grant matched by $5,433) to produce the annual “Rehab, Restore, Renovate!” one-day preservation trades fair, which will build on previously funded fairs and feature displays by local preservation contractors as well as a combination of workshops, demonstrations, presentations and videos. Information provided will explain and promote appropriate methods for restoring and repairing historic properties and provide historic property owners direct contact with contractors qualified in the preservation trades.
Bardstown, $8,385 ($5,026 grant matched by $3,358) to host three historic preservation workshops next summer. One will feature Jason Church of the National Park Service, an expert in historic cemetery repair and restoration; the other two will feature locally qualified contractors in the fields of historic window maintenance and repair, and masonry repair including historic chimneys. The workshops will also allow local property owners to meet Bardstown’s new preservation coordinator and have questions answered regarding the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) process and design review.
Bellevue, $13,333 ($8,000 grant matched by $5,333) to fund an architectural survey of approximately 159 properties and prepare a National Register nomination for the Bonnie Leslie Historic District. Located east of Newport, the neighborhood features homes dating from the 1880s. The neighborhood was annexed by the city in 1927 and includes examples of Craftsman and other early 20th century styles.
Bellevue and Covington, $10,000 ($3,000 grant each matched by $2,000 each) to present the Sixth Annual Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend, which will take place in February or March 2017, an educational event focusing on many aspects of historic preservation including technical assistance and local and state resources. This grant will assist with preparation and costs associated with the event.
Covington, $8,333 ($5,000 grant matched by $3,333) to expand the scope of a proposed National Register historic district nomination for the Devou Park neighborhood and recognize its significance in the city’s recreation history from the early 1900s through today. A preliminary nomination has been drafted as part of a multiple property listing for the Northern Kentucky Civil War Fortification System, which has undergone initial review by KHC but has not been formally submitted. The expanded nomination will require extensive additional research and development by a qualified consultant, including field work to determine the total number of contributing and non-contributing resources, as this neighborhood is an expansive area with resources ranging from Civil War batteries to modern playgrounds.
Danville, $18,000 ($10,800 grant matched by $7,200) to update Danville’s existing historic district design guidelines for both commercial and residential properties, which were developed in the mid-1990s and adopted by the city in 1999. The guidelines are used by the architectural review board for design review, but currently lack sufficient detail, illustrations, photos and other information for decision-makers and historic property owners.
Horse Cave, $15,031 ($8,994 grant matched by $6,037) to re-survey and document changes to 59 historic properties listed in the National Register and included in a local historic district that have not been evaluated in the last 15 years. The city also proposes to make the updated survey forms accessible to the public on the city website.
Maysville, $15,000 ($9,000 grant matched by $6,000) to hire a qualified consultant to complete an architectural survey and prepare a boundary expansion for the downtown National Register historic district. This project will build on work completed by a previous grant and include 112 new parcels on the west side of the existing district. The expansion is intended to capture the shift from the early urban town core, as represented by several blocks of contiguous row houses, to a long series of Greek Revival suburban showpiece houses extending west out of downtown and directly overlooking the Ohio River. The proposed expansion stretches from Cox’s Alley in the west to Germantown Road in the east.
Newport, $33,333 ($20,000 grant matched by $13,333) to hire a consultant to conduct an architectural survey of approximately 1,000 buildings in the Buena Vista neighborhood on the west side of Newport, an area that has not previously been evaluated. The neighborhood is primarily residential, with commercial buildings and churches occupying the corners at major intersections. The area exhibits a variety of architectural styles ranging from the 1850s through the early 20th century. The survey will assist with future development of a National Register district nomination.
Shelbyville, $10,000 ($6,000 grant matched by $4,000) to continue to update and develop an interactive website for the Shelbyville Historic District Commission that interfaces with the city’s website. The update will enhance and add to the interactive features available on the commission website, developed with a previous grant. The city hopes to add instructional videos to explain what a COA is and what the design review process entails, including how to apply historic district design guidelines. This platform would showcase successful rehabilitation projects and facilitate a more holistic understanding of how a historic district is continually enhanced one project at a time. The update would also include additional links to other media sources featuring news and educational materials related to the benefits of historic preservation, and allow the addition of more historic images in a searchable format.
Thanks to all who supported the Oct. 14 Preservation Trailblazers celebration
Thanks to our partner Liberty Hall Historic Site and all the other sponsors and presenting organizations who made our Preservation Trailblazers event Oct. 14 such a success! Great to see so many old friends and preservation supporters gathered in downtown Frankfort to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KHC and the National Historic Preservation Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966.
Co-sponsored by KHC and Liberty Hall Historic Site (LHHS), special thanks go to the Trailblazer Sponsor, the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, and Landmark Sponsors, The Kentucky Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America and the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. The event is also presented in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society, Preservation Kentucky, Kentucky Main Street Program, Kentucky Division of Historic Properties, University of Kentucky College of Design Historic Preservation Program, Preservation Louisville, Passport Radio, Downtown Frankfort, Inc. Main Street, Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation, Frankfort Transit and Frankfort Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites.
Thanks especially to all of our speakers, including our esteemed Preservation Trailblazers panelists: David Morgan, retired long-time state historic preservation officer; Steve Collins, KHC chair; Edie Bingham of Louisville, an advocate for preservation and education at the forefront of several important preservation milestones; Chuck Parrish, first KHC staffer and retired historian with the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Dick DeCamp, first executive director of the Blue Grass Trust and head of Lexington’s first historic commission; Betty Dobson, grassroots preservationist whose efforts helped save Paducah’s Hotel Metropolitan; Keith Runyon, Metro Louisville Historic Preservation Advisory Task Force co-chair and Preservation Louisville spokesman, representing Christy Brown; Jim Thomas, long-time executive director of Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill; Barbara Hulette of Danville, a tireless advocate and fundraiser; Dr. Alicestyne Turley, director of the Carter G. Woodson Center and Assistant Professor of African and African American studies at Berea College; David Cartmell, Maysville mayor; Nash Cox of Frankfort, local historian and past president of LHHS; Dr. John Kleber, historian and editor of the “Kentucky Encyclopedia,” among others; and Dr. Patrick Snadon, associate professor of architecture and interior design at the University of Cincinnati and co-author of “The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe.”
We had a wonderful day and hope you did too! This celebration was a positive way to reenergize the historic preservation movement and get everyone excited as we head into the next 50 years of championing historic preservation throughout the Commonwealth.
Passed in 1966, the National Historic Preservation Act was landmark legislation that came about as a response to destructive urban “renewal” policies and the widespread construction of interstate highways cutting swaths through the American landscape. The NHPA established a leadership role for the federal government to protect and preserve our nation’s historic buildings and paved the way for the establishment of state historic preservation offices, including KHC.
So what was going on in 1966? "Bonanza" was the most popular show on television, "Thunderball" with Sean Connery as James Bond was the most popular movie, Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was the most popular song, and transistor radios were what passed for high-tech listening devices.
Mass-produced housing was booming, the construction of interstate highways was cutting swaths of destruction through the American landscape, and historic buildings and neighborhoods were being leveled in cities across the country as urban "renewal" policies were implemented in an effort to address blight and suburban flight.
The wholesale loss of these historic resources sparked a grassroots effort among citizens to seek a new and more comprehensive approach to preservation. In 1965, a special committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the White House and several members of Congress produced a report and plan of action, ""With Heritage So Rich."
This report laid the foundation for federal government intervention, and the National Historic Preservation Act was passed into law and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966. For the first time, federal law defined a comprehensive government role in preservation policy, leadership and program responsibility, and also provided a federal-state framework by creating a means for state historic preservation offices to be established to help implement this policy.
The legislation also established the Section 106 process requiring federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties; created the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent federal agency to advise the President and Congress; and set up the National Register of Historic Places. Later amendments extended this framework through the Certified Local Government Program, which encourages local governments to seek designation in order to more effectively address historic preservation and planning.
The Kentucky Heritage Commission was created by the state legislature not long after, and in the 1980s the name was changed to the Kentucky Heritage Council. It is not an understatement to say that our Commonwealth would look very different today without the work of this agency.
It's funny to consider that in 1971, the first statewide survey of "historic" sites in Kentucky was completed, consisting of a mere 1,951 buildings - mostly the high-style architecture that one would expect. Today we are approaching a database of nearly 100,000 surveyed historic sites, including archaeological deposits, places associated with Kentucky's African American and Native American heritage, battlefields, schools, churches, rural hamlets, houses of every type, and historic downtowns in communities of all sizes - among many other diverse resources.
As an agency, the Kentucky Heritage Council has a lot to celebrate in 2016. Watch here for frequent updates about upcoming events and highlighting successful initiatives.
The National Park Service has created Preservation 50 , a campaign to promote the anniversary and events going on in various states throughout next year. Visit www.preservation50.org  for more and also to download a prospectus about what you can do to commemorate and bring attention to this important anniversary in your own community.