Kentucky Heritage Council
Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board to meet Tuesday to consider 13 National Register nominations, including five historic districts
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board will consider 13 sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, including the addition or expansion of five downtown historic districts, during a meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the Mercer County Public Library, 109 W. Lexington St., Harrodsburg.
Historic districts are the London Downtown Historic District, Guthrie Historic District, Springfield Main Street District and two in Harrodsburg – the North Main Street District and the Lexington and Cane Run District. Individual nominations are for the Murray Woman’s Club Clubhouse in Calloway County, LaSalette Academy in Covington, the Livingston County Courthouse and Clerk’s Offices in Smithland, Hardcastle Store in Bowling Green and four sites in Bardstown – Baldwin’s Tourist Court Residence-Office, Kurtz Restaurant and Bardstown-Parkview Motel-Office, Old Kentucky Home Motel and Wilson Motel.
The review board is charged with evaluating eligibility criteria for National Register nominations from Kentucky prior to their submission to the National Park Service (NPS), which administers the program in partnership with state historic preservation offices, including the Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC). Approved nominations are forwarded to the NPS, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, for final determination of eligibility, with a decision required within 45 days of receipt.
A description of each nomination follows. Complete nominations and photos may also be accessed at the KHC website, www.heritage.ky.gov/natreg/.
The National Register is the nation’s official list of historic and archaeological resources deemed worthy of preservation. Kentucky has the fourth highest number of listings in the nation – following New York, Massachusetts and Ohio – with more than 3,200 districts, sites and structures encompassing more than 42,000 historic features. Listing can be applied to buildings, objects, structures, districts and archaeological sites, and proposed sites must be significant in architecture, engineering, American history or culture, or possess a special role in the development of our country.
National Register status does not affect property ownership rights but does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects. Owners of National Register properties may qualify for federal or state tax credits for certified rehabilitation of these properties or by making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement.
For more information, call the Heritage Council at 502-564-7005, ext. 120, or visit www.heritage.ky.gov.
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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, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life. www.heritage.ky.gov
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National Register nominations to be considered at the Sept. 6 Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board meeting are:
Murray Woman's Club Clubhouse, 704 Vine St. – This 2½ story Tudor Revival-style building was constructed circa 1939-40 with an exterior of Calloway County limestone. It is being nominated according to National Register Criterion A, property associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our nation’s history. According to the nomination author, “the clubhouse has played an important role in the social life of Murray, with the building’s significance interpreted within the historic context ‘Women’s Clubs in Kentucky, 1894-1961.’ The Murray Woman’s Club has been an active participant in community affairs since the Club was founded in 1905.” Notably, the club was constructed through labor provided by the National Youth Administration (NYA), a program under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which the author notes makes it “an interesting origin, as it is an instance of a nongovernmental property funded by New Deal programs. The ability of the Club to be granted NYA labor under the WPA Federal program for the construction of the building testifies to the importance of the role of the Clubhouse in the community.”
LaSalette Academy, 702 Greenup St., Covington – Originally constructed in 1856 as a square, two-story building, the LaSalette Academy today has grown into two main buildings, each having an L-shape, which form a U-shaped complex around a deep central courtyard and consume nearly an entire city block. In 1886 the original building was demolished and a new, larger building was constructed, then greatly expanded in 1903 to three stories with a five-bay brick front façade, Georgian Revival styling and an elevated limestone block basement. A second building was completed in 1939, nearly doubling the total size of the school and creating the large central courtyard. The school operated until 1977 and was later purchased by a developer and converted into apartments. Both buildings are listed in the National Register within the Licking Riverside Historic District, listed in 1975, but at that time the 1930s building was deemed non-contributing due to it not being 50 years old yet. This nomination justifies the eligibility of both buildings under National Register Criterion A, significant within the context “Growth and Organization of the Roman Catholic Church in Kentucky, 1808-1961.”
London Downtown Historic District – The proposed district encompasses 21 properties between West 8th Street and West 5th Street on the Main Street of London, a total of 3.89 acres. The nomination includes 18 buildings contributing to the historic district and three non-contributing, constructed from 1890 to 1939. Contributing structures are one to three stories high, constructed primarily of brick, and include 17 commercial buildings and one church. One, the Poynter Building, is currently listed in the National Register. The district is being nominated under Criterion A, significant for its association with the growth and development of commerce and trade within Laurel County, Ky., between 1895 and 1961, and understood within the historic context “Commercial District Attributes in Towns in Southeastern Kentucky, 1890-1961.” According to the author, the span 1895-1961 was chosen because it represents the era through which London’s downtown commercial district developed in context with the opening up of the Southeast regional coal and timber industries, and in comparison with the growth and development of the downtown commercial districts in the nearby county seats of Williamsburg and Somerset.
Livingston County Courthouse and Clerk's Offices, 351 Court St., Smithland – The Livingston County Courthouse is a brick building of predominately Greek Revival style erected in 1845, with the Clerk’s Office constructed in 1853. The property today consists of the original courthouse and two county clerk’s offices, connected by an addition constructed in the 1960s. The courthouse features a cut limestone foundation. The window treatment is drawn from Romanesque and Italianate architectural styles, but the building’s frontal symmetry relates more to the then-prevailing Greek Revival style. An octagonal louvered cupola tops the roof. The buildings are nominated under Criterion A, with the buildings’ historic significance understood within the context “The Place of County Government in Livingston County, Kentucky, 1798-1960.” According to the author, “when Livingston was established in 1798, it consisted of a thinly populated large area, and began to follow a course followed by many counties established in 18th-century Kentucky. That is, various crossroads and shipping towns soon arose distant from the county seat; as people saw their interests align more with those newer urban areas than with the county seat, people in a part of the county would elect to separate and to form their own county.”
Mercer County, Harrodsburg
North Main Street Historic District – This nomination seeks to unite several previously-listed resources within their common context. According to the author, the North Main Historic District is the one mixed-use neighborhood within the original town limits resulting from the melding of the different rhythms of a busy county seat: industry, transportation, commerce and the homes of its residents. The district includes 23 contributing buildings, six of which were previously listed – the U.S. Post Office, Passmore Hotel, Cardwellton, Alexandria, Courtview and the Pulliam-Curry House. Nearly every form and architectural style common in Kentucky county-seat towns across the period of significance from 1823 to 1949 is represented. Contributing resources comprise a number of high-style buildings as well as many regional interpretations of national styles popularized during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, employing a variety of construction materials and types, with frame and brick construction most common. The district is being nominated under Criterion C, property that embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction or which represents the work of a master, or possesses high artistic values, or represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components lack individual distinction. The district is considered significant within the historic context “Development of Harrodsburg and Mercer County, Kentucky, 1767-1950.”
Lexington and Cane Run Historic District – This district is primarily residential covering 64 acres, with 71 contributing historic resources. The district contains one resource previously listed in the National Register, the Isaac Hipple House, also known as the Elms. The Lexington and Cane Run Historic District is located almost entirely outside of the original town plat of Harrodsburg. According to the author, unlike a traditional definition of suburb, this district was neither planned nor platted, but grew organically over nearly 140 years. The development in the district followed consistent patterns with respect to land use, architecture and building siting through three distinct building periods. The period of significance is from 1814-1951. Several architectural styles are represented, including Federal, ranging from approximately 1780 to 1820 nationally – the earliest period style most commonly encountered in Kentucky – as well as Greek Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival, among others. The district is being nominated under Criterion A and is locally significant in the area of planning and community development, evaluated within the local context “Development of Harrodsburg and Mercer County, Kentucky, 1767-1950.”
Nelson County, Bardstown
Baldwin's Tourist Court Residence-Office, 321 West Stephen Foster Ave. – Built in 1938, the Baldwin’s Tourist Court residence-office is a 1½ -story brick bungalow that includes Craftsman design elements. The interior was designed to include one room for use as the tourist court office. A 1940’s-era color postcard shows several buildings on the property, including a low, one-story, four-unit tourist court building and a slightly higher one-story cottage-type building with three units. The buildings featured interior parking spaces similar to those at Wilson’s Tourist Court (below). Baldwin’s Tourist Court continued in business, without major alteration to its buildings, until the mid-1960s. The residence-office is being nominated under National Register Criterion A, with the building’s significance viewed within the historic context “Automobile Travel and the Growth and Development of Tourism in Central Kentucky, 1938-1961.” According to the author, the development of automobile travel, public highways and tourism made significant contributions to the economic and social history of Bardstown during this period and spurred the establishment of new types of lodging that were designed to meet the needs of the traveling public.
Kurtz Restaurant and Bardstown-Parkview Motel-Office, 418 East Stephen Foster Ave. – Kurtz Restaurant was built in 1937, the Bardstown-Parkview Motel-Office in 1957, and the Bardstown-Parkview Motel in 1959 (enlarged in 1960) for J. Merrill and Annette Kurtz. The restaurant and motel have operated continuously under the same ownership as an integrated business and they are situated on adjoining lots on approximately two acres. The property is located in the Bardstown Local Historic District facing My Old Kentucky Home, a National Historic Landmark and the city’s main tourist attraction. The original restaurant was two stories, constructed of solid limestone laid in irregular courses, with stone quarried from the Kurtz’s farm in western Nelson County. The restaurant and kitchen were located on the first floor, and the Kurtzes lived on the second floor. In 1985 the Kurtzes constructed a two-story, 17-foot addition to the restaurant façade to accommodate their growing business. The motel was built prior to the grand opening season of the “Stephen Foster Story” outdoor drama. All are nominated under Criterion A, interpreted within the historic context “Automobile Travel and the Growth and Development of Tourism in Central Kentucky, 1937-1961.”
Old Kentucky Home Motel, 414 West Stephen Foster Ave. – This nomination includes the original U-shaped motel building and a neon monument sign at the motel entrance, both dating to 1955. The property is located west of the historic Court Square and adjoins the Bardstown Local Historic District on the east side. The building includes 35 units and an office and is one-story, brick veneered. Each unit includes an entrance door and one aluminum-frame window with nonfunctioning shutters. According to the author, the columned portico, front grassy lawn, and placement of white-painted metal lawn chairs under shady trees “were intended to give a ‘Colonial’ look to the motel… This design fit perfectly with the popularity of My Old Kentucky Home as Bardstown’s premier tourist attraction.” The entrance sign features a green background with “Old Kentucky Home Motel” at the top in white lettering and the words “Air Conditioned” in smaller white letters at the bottom. A large neon arrow between these messages points toward the motel. Nomination is being made under Criterion A, significant within the historic context of “Automobile Travel and the Growth and Development of Tourism in Central Kentucky, 1955-1961.”
Wilson Motel, 530 N. Third St. – The Wilson Motel property is located in the Bardstown Local Historic District and includes a residence-office constructed in 1926, an L-shaped motel building dating to 1934, and a pole-mounted sign dating to around 1950, all of which remain in their historic setting. The residence-office is a 1½ -story Tudor-style dwelling with two separate rooms on the west side for guests and one small room on the north side for an office. The original arrangement of the interior has been retained. According to the author, it appears from early postcard views that there were originally nine units in the tourist court motel, each of which was separated by an enclosed parking space – a typical layout for tourist courts during the 1930s. Around 1950, Wilson modernized the building to accommodate changing tastes and replaced the enclosed parking spaces with additional or enlarged units. The building has undergone only minor alterations since then. Nomination is being made under Criterion A, significant within the historic context of “Automobile Travel and the Growth and Development of Tourism in Central Kentucky, 1926-1961.” The author notes, “The design of The Wilson Motel is an excellent example of how the design of lodging for tourists changed from the early cottage court of the 1920s to the modern motel of the 1950s.”
Guthrie Historic District – This proposed district is located within a railroad town in the southeastern section of Todd County, and is being interpreted for its connection with the L&N railroad and its associations with transportation. The area proposed for listing contains 12.3 acres with 28 contributing features (25 buildings, two sites and one structure). A building is considered to be contributing if it was constructed over 50 years ago; retains its original structure, design and location; and maintains integrity of association by its continued connection to the railroads. The period of significance is listed as 1879 to 1957, starting with the year Guthrie officially became a Kentucky city and ending when the passenger railroad lines were no longer used. Nomination is being made under Criterion A, significant within the historic context “Railroad Towns in Todd County, Kentucky, 1865-1960.” According to the author, “Guthrie was an important railroad town at the intersection of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and the Evansville, Henderson and Nashville Railroad… This nomination attempts to look at the importance of Guthrie as a place influenced by, and an indicator of, the impact of railroad transportation on town development.”
Hardcastle Store, 7286 Cemetery Road, Bowling Green – Constructed circa 1888, Hardcastle Store is considered by the author to be a “fine example of a late-19th-century rural general store.” The building is a one-story, front-gable building constructed on a continuous cut stone foundation with a nearly full-length shed-roofed side addition of indeterminate date, which runs most of the east side of the building, probably added not long after the original construction. The store was constructed by Francis Marion Hardcastle and Ewing Hardcastle, two brothers from a local family. The exterior walls largely consist of wooden weatherboarding and are painted white. Inside, many of the original fixtures and fittings survive, including a tongue-and-groove counter, an 1873 safe, and shelving. Nomination is being made under Criterion A. The store is considered significant within the context “Rural Commerce in Warren County, Kentucky, 1888-1960.” The store was the focal point of the local rural community and served as a vibrant social center, emblematic of rural general stores across the southern states of America during the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.
Springfield Main Street District – This nomination proposes an expansion of the original Springfield Commercial Historic District, listed in the National Register in 1989. The original district encompassed two blocks with 39 buildings – 31 of which contributed to the district. The area the current nomination proposes for listing stretches beyond the original district’s two-block, north-south width, greatly expanding to the east and west almost 20 blocks. The expanded area contains a mix of commercial, residential and institutional buildings, approximately 83 acres total. Three sites outside the boundaries of the original district were previously individually listed in the National Register, including St. Dominic’s Church, Springfield Grade School and the Covington Institute Teacher’s Residence. The Washington County Courthouse had also been individually listed within the boundaries of the original district. The new district proposes to add 130 historic resources. The period of significance, 1816 to 1961, begins with the completion of the county courthouse. Nomination is being made under Criterion A and its significance is evaluated within the context “Community Planning and Development in Washington County, Kentucky, 1816-1961.”