Kentucky Heritage Council
'Walkable City’ author Jeff Speck to speak Jan. 16-17 in Frankfort; presentations coincide with annual Kentucky Main Street Program winter meeting, open to the public

Press Release Date:  Friday, December 20, 2013  
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Jeff Speck, author of “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time,” will be the keynote presenter for the 2014 Kentucky Main Street Program annual winter conference Jan. 15-17 in Frankfort.

Walkable CityCo-author of the landmark bestseller “Suburban Nation,” Speck is a city planner who advocates for smart growth and sustainable design. As the former director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, he oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, where he worked with dozens of American mayors on their most pressing city planning challenges. He leads a design practice based in Washington, D.C.

Speck will present a lecture and book signing at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Grand Theatre at 308 St. Clair St., and a workshop from 9-11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, in the auditorium of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet building, 200 Mero St. General admission is $10 for the lecture, and $25 for the workshop. Participants can purchase tickets at the door, or online at the Harrodsburg First website,

Download the program flyer [PDF - 440KB]

“The winter conference marks a new approach to thinking about historic preservation, and an opportunity for a broader range of our constituents to learn from exciting speakers and dynamic programming,” said Craig Potts, Kentucky Heritage Council executive director and state historic preservation officer.

For the first time, the agency is partnering with Preservation Kentucky to sponsor the Kentucky Preservation Series, with quarterly workshops and hands-on training and educational programming designed for broad appeal. “Creating Life on City Streets: Walkability” is the theme for the winter Kentucky Main Street Conference, the premiere entry in this series, which encompasses Speck’s presentations.

New this year, the public is invited to attend the conference and join local Main Street managers, board members, elected officials and others to learn about current issues in community revitalization. Topics will be of broad interest to anyone interested in community strategies to preserve and utilize historic downtown buildings, capitalize on authentic assets, promote heritage tourism and create positive energy that attracts residents and visitors.

The goal of the new Kentucky Preservation Series is to give individuals the information they need to help care for and rehabilitate their historic home or building, and work more effectively to support preservation and planning efforts at the local level, Potts said. This series takes the place of the long-running biennial statewide historic preservation conference.

Full conference registration is $100 per person and includes educational sessions, Speck’s lecture and workshop, and a reception hosted by Preservation Kentucky. Single-day registration Jan. 15 or 16 is $35. More information and a complete conference schedule are available at

Training credits for local officials are available through the Kentucky League of Cities / City Officials Training Center on an hour-for-hour basis, and also through the County Elected Officials Training Incentive Program offered by the Department for Local Government, which has approved up to 14 training hours.

Administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council, the Kentucky Main Street Program is presenting the conference in partnership with the nonprofit organization Friends of Kentucky Main Street. Speck’s visit to Kentucky is sponsored through the support of KHC board member Nana Lampton. For more about Speck’s work, visit


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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens. This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, heritage tourism, jobs creation, affordable housing, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.