Governor's Office for Local Development

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 18, 2007  
Contact Information:  Lanny Brannock
Public Information Officer

Funding will renovate historic H.H. Owens Home for Main Street development

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Ernie Fletcher today awarded a $150,000 Renaissance on Main Grant to the City of Barbourville. The funding will be used to restore the historic H.H. Owens Home and adapt it to house several organizations.

“Barbourville is working to revitalize its downtown area, heightening its appeal to visitors and residents alike,” said Governor Fletcher. “This is a smart way of using this funding to accommodate several organizations under one roof and will help draw more people into Barbourville’s downtown.”

 The historic building will house the Knox Historical Museum, Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center on its first floor. The second and third floors will house the Renaissance on Main Office, Tourism and Recreation Office as well as provide space for county archives.

 “Combining these important organizations in one building is an effective and efficient use of this significant historic landmark,” said Senator Robert Stivers (R-Manchester).  “This will boost tourism efforts and generate interest in promoting the many benefits of visiting and living in Barbourville.”

The city plans to use the funding for renovations such as tuck-pointing, a new roof and windows, interior renovations and a new heating and air conditioning system. The Owens Home is structurally sound, but was converted to apartments in the 1990’s, and will require an extensive renovation to restore it to prominence.

 “Downtown Barbourville has few historic buildings.  I am pleased that the city received this funding to not only preserve a historic place, but to maintain a distinctive downtown,” said Representative Jim Stewart (R-Flat Lick).

The Owens Home is located in the Barbourville historic district, and was constructed in 1820. Former Kentucky Governor James Dixon gave the property to his daughter, Georgia Black Owens. The home as it stands now was completed in 1917. A series of ill-advised remodels and a recent fire have left the home in poor condition.

Renaissance on Main rewards communities that take steps to revitalize and maintain vibrant, economically sound development in Kentucky’s downtown areas. The program partners with the Kentucky Heritage Council/Main Street Program, the Kentucky Department of Tourism, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD).  GOLD is the agency responsible for administering the program. For more information, visit