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PLEASE NOTE: KHC offices have moved to the Barstow House, 410 High Street, Frankfort, KY 40601. Our phone number, 502-564-7005, and office hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., remain the same.

Kentucky Main Street Program Encourages Kentuckians to Shop Small® this Holiday Season

Shop Small 2017 logoSmall Business Saturday® has quickly become synonymous with the first Saturday after Thanksgiving as a means to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize local businesses. This national Shop Small® marketing campaign also coincides with holiday events and activities already planned in many Kentucky Main Street (KYMS) communities.

“Small Business Saturday reminds us that during one of the busiest spending times of the year, we need to invest locally with friends and neighbors, ensuring that the dollars being spent are being reinvested locally,” said Kitty Dougoud, KYMS Administrator. “When you shop with a small, independent business, which KYMS promotes throughout the year, you not only celebrate the uniqueness of your community, you also support local jobs and families.”

The Kentucky Main Street Program was created in 1979 by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office to focus on downtown revitalization and economic development within the context of preserving and reusing historic commercial buildings. KYMS requires local commitment and financial support in exchange for technical and design assistance, on-site visits, access to national consultants, and occasional grant opportunities. Currently the state program supports 37 communities.

Activities planned in KYMS communities this Saturday, Nov. 25, include Paducah Main Street’s Dickens of a Christmas, Bellevue In Vue’s annual Christmas Walk and holiday open house (Friday and Saturday), and Pikeville Main Street’s Storybook Walk. For more holiday events sure to bring cheer to your shopping experience, like and follow Kentucky Main Street on Facebook or visit Kentucky Tourism’s Kentucky Main Street holiday guide.

Small Business Saturday was launched in 2010 by American Express. According to a consumer insights survey released by the company and the National Federation of Independent Business, total reported spending last year on this one day reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants. Kentucky Main Street can document more than $3.9 billion of investment throughout the Commonwealth over nearly four decades.

Kentucky Main Street Program Fall Conference showcases Western Kentucky communities

Historic buildings and successful rehabilitation and downtown revitalization projects were showcased during the Kentucky Main Street Program (KYMS) Fall Conference Oct. 17-20 in Western Kentucky.

Chris Black Administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council, Kentucky Main Street is the oldest statewide Main Street revitalization program in the nation, introduced in 1979 and based on a Four-Point Approach® developed by the National Main Street Center – community design, organization, economic vitality and promotion.

Kentucky Main Street DirectorsProgram participation requires local commitment, financial support and a volunteer board. KHC provides technical and design assistance, on-site visits, a resource center, national consultants, and when available, grant funding. Currently, the state program supports 37 communities.

Lake Barkley State Resort Park hosted the meeting, which drew local KYMS directors and board members from across the Commonwealth.

“Just as we did last year in Eastern Kentucky, the goal of this year’s conference is to share best practices with one another and learn about all the great things taking place in the western part of the state,” said Kitty Dougoud, Kentucky Main Street Program administrator. “We have a wonderful and diverse network of Main Street communities, each with unique characteristics that provide great educational opportunities to see our Main Street trainings in action.”

The conference included a communal celebration of Covington’s Great American Main Street Award, presented earlier this year by Main Street America; a tour of three Paducah properties that are successfully utilizing rehabilitation tax credits (also administered by KHC): the 1857 Hotel, Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, and Paducah City Hall;  a tour of Murray Main Street, followed by a boat ride on Lake Barkley; a meeting at the Renaissance Center in Cadiz and tour of the Janice Mason Art Museum, a community arts center located in a historic, WPA-era, Colonial Revival Post Office building; a meeting at the historic Princeton Tourism Center, a converted Christian church, including a presentation about the award-winning Paint Your Town initiative; and a meeting at the Guthrie Transportation Museum and Welcome Center, an adaptive reuse project encompassing two formerly dilapidated buildings, followed by tours of the c1872 Opera House and Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Museum.

The goal of Kentucky Main Street is to encourage downtown revitalization, public-private partnerships, and economic development within the context of historic preservation. Since the program’s inception, KYMS can document more than $3.9 billion of public-private investment throughout the Commonwealth.

Photos: Left, participants at the Paducah riverfront; right, Chris Black of Ray Black and Son talks about the rehabilitation of the Coca Cola Bottling Plant

10 Kentucky sites recently listed in the National Register

Rock Cabin CampTen Kentucky sites have recently been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, according to the National Park Service, including a hydroelectric dam, Jewish cemetery, wholesale grocery warehouse, and Victorian home school for girls.

The sites were approved for nomination during the last two meetings of the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board, which is charged with evaluating National Register nominations from Kentucky prior to their submission to the park service. The Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) administers the National Register program in Kentucky and provides administrative support to the review board.

Listed sites were:

Barren County – Rock Cabin Camp near Cave City, an early motel and motor court consisting of a home/office building and nine limestone cabins, constructed in 1928;

Bell County – Middlesboro Jewish Cemetery, established in 1904 for the burial of Jewish residents in the Kentucky/Tennessee/West Virginia region;

Campbell County – E.O. Robinson House in Highland Heights, a Shingle-style home designed by architect G.C. Burroughs and constructed in 1909 for one of eastern Kentucky’s premier timber industrialists;

E.O. Robinson HouseGreen County – Montgomery-Sandidge House near Greensburg, a hybrid of dogtrot/saddlebag log frame construction dating to the early 19th century and modernized in the 1940s;

Jefferson County – Kentucky Home School for Girls in Louisville, a late Victorian estate home constructed at the end of the 19th century that served as a private school from 1948 through the 1970s;

Livingston and Marshall counties – Kentucky Hydroelectric Project, located on the Tennessee River near Grand Rivers, consisting of a dam, powerhouse, switchyard, navigational locks and associated buildings;

Madison County – Kellogg and Company Wholesale Grocery Warehouse in Richmond, a two-story building dating to 1906 constructed of fire-resistant timber within masonry walls, a method known as mill construction;

Mason County – West 2nd Street Historic District, Maysville, including 78 buildings from the late-19th through early 20th century, ranging from contiguous row houses to Greek Revival showpiece homes;

Westminster Presbyterian ChurchMcCracken County – Westminster Presbyterian Church in Paducah, a late Gothic Revival building constructed in 1951 just as the town flooded with new employees hired to work at the Gaseous Diffusion Plant;

Scott County – Craig-Peak House near Georgetown, a Greek Revival home constructed between 1820-1860; and West Second Street Historic District in Maysville, including 78 buildings from the late-19th through early 20th century, ranging from contiguous row houses to Greek Revival showpiece homes;

An additional 13 Kentucky sites have been listed in the National Register since January, including the Columbia Commercial District; Bold House in Foster; Doyle Country Club in Dayton; Bush Warehouse in Winchester; Haury Motor Company and Garage, and Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Louisville; Scearce-Roush House in Simpsonville; J.D. Dodson House in Bowling Green; Old Taylor Distillery Historic District; Waveland (boundary increase/name change) near Nicholasville; Rowan County Courthouse (boundary increase); Paducah City Hall; and the Peabody-Fordson Historic District in Clay County.

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 among states, with more than 3,400. 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.

Owners of National Register properties may qualify for state and/or federal tax credits for rehabilitation of these properties to standards set forth by the Secretary of the Interior, as certified by the Kentucky Heritage Council, or by making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement. National Register status does not affect property ownership rights, but does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects.

Linda Bruckheimer Honored for Outstanding Dedication to Historic Preservation in Kentucky

Linda Bruckheimer accepts the Memorial AwardOn May 30, the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards were hosted by the foundation and Kentucky Heritage Council at Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort. Linda Bruckheimer was honored with the Memorial Award for outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth, the highest honor bestowed during the annual event.

Presented each May during National Historic Preservation Month, the awards recognize excellence in the preservation of historic buildings and cultural resources through investment, advocacy, volunteerism, building partnerships, public involvement, lifelong commitment or significant achievement. They are named for the first executive director of the state historic preservation office, and this year’s awards were presented with special thanks to Nana Lampton.

Bruckheimer was recognized for more than two decades of preservation philanthropy, investment and advocacy at the local, state and national level.

“Linda remains fiercely loyal to her Kentucky heritage and continues to dedicate her considerable talents to preserving and protecting the endangered central Kentucky landscapes that she so loves,” said Steve Collins, foundation chairman, in presenting the engraved silver cup. “Whatever Linda undertakes, the theme of appreciating and preserving those places that identify our shared past underscores all of her work.”

In Bloomfield, her projects include rehabilitation of an 1820 Greek Revival home and eight downtown buildings, bringing new businesses and visitors to the community. She has also been an active member of the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, through which she and her husband established the Linda and Jerry Bruckheimer Fund for Kentucky, which supports the preservation of historic buildings, communities and landscapes throughout the Commonwealth.

“It is an unbelievable honor to receive this prestigious award,” Bruckheimer said during her acceptance, recounting her journey to purchasing a historic Kentucky farm and subsequent preservation advocacy.

“As everyone here knows, there’s still an endless stream of work to be done, something that takes passion and vigilance, and people who believe you can and must fight city hall. Although we all have our pet projects, we are bound by a common purpose, one that is plain as day. If we continue to abuse our historic treasures, then there’s only a matter of time before Kentucky loses all the qualities that make it unique.”


Tributes read by Steve Collins, chair, and Chuck Parrish, foundation board member, during the awards ceremony [Word-88KB]

Preservation Project Awards went to:

  • Hellman Creative Center, Covington, formerly Hellmann Lumber & Manufacturing Company, a 13,800-square-foot lumber mill constructed between 1886-1894, adapted by the Center for Great Neighborhoods into a creative placemaking hub with flexible community space, artist studios, and their new offices
  • Paducah Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, the city’s finest example of Art Deco architecture, long vacant and deteriorating before Ed and Meagan Musselman purchased it for redevelopment, preserving many original features, bringing in new businesses and jobs, and showcasing local art and artists
  • Rabbit Hash General Store, a local landmark in continuous operation since 1831, a white-frame building nearly lost to fire but meticulously restored by Rabbit Hash Historical Society and other supporters who preserved and utilized as much remaining historic fabric as possible in the rebuilding
  • Robneel Building, Paris, a Main Street commercial and residential structure dating to 1908, carefully rehabilitated by owners Darrell and Debbie Poynter and their son, Chris, who preserved many original features and also allowed former owners, the local Odd Fellows Lodge, to continue meeting on the property

Service to Preservation Awards went to:

  • Eric and Ellen Gregory of Midway, for their hands-on rehabilitation of multiple family homes, notably The Bell House in Metcalfe County; for engaging their children to help with these projects; and for utilizing and promoting the use of historic rehabilitation tax credits
  • Martin Luther King and William Wells Brown Neighborhood Associations for “Gathering Our History: An East End Preservation Project,” for documenting Lexington’s East End neighborhood, capturing its stories, and creating an event to publicly celebrate the community’s rich cultural heritage, historic architecture and long-time residents
  • University of Kentucky Historic Preservation Symposium, an annual conference that premiered in 2005 to introduce students and others to innovative work shaping the boundaries of historic preservation practice by bringing together a range of speakers to discuss current topics in an accessible format

Grassroots Preservation Awards were presented to:

  • Dr. Andy Paul Keaton of Red Bush in Johnson County, for his considerable time and investment in restoring the Lloyd Hamilton Mott House, a vernacular frame structure dating to 1890 and remarkable for its all-wood construction, and for inventing creative solutions to overcome unique challenges
  • Mt. Washington Youth Chamber of Preservationists (Youth COPs) for “A Milestone at the Crossroads,” a community-wide collaborative led by five Bullitt East high school students to preserve and re-display a limestone mile marker from the 1830s Louisville-Bardstown Turnpike along with an interpretive marker


Kentucky Main Street Program communities contributed $110M to economy in 2016


Kentucky Main Street directors and supporters gather on the floor of the Sentate chamberKentucky Main Street logoThe Kentucky Main Street Program (KYMS) recently announced that 39 participating communities reported cumulative investment of $109,741,515 in their commercial downtown districts in 2016, a number that includes $75,070,029 of private investment matched by $30,920,494 in public improvements. This total was up significantly from the $76 million of cumulative investment reported by 44 communities in 2015.


Administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC), Kentucky Main Street is the oldest statewide downtown economic revitalization program in the nation, based on the National Main Street Center (NMSC) Four-Point Approach® emphasizing organization, promotion, design and economic vitality. Since the program’s inception in 1979, KYMS can document more than $3.9 billion of public-private investment throughout the Commonwealth.


The revitalization statistics were announced during the KYMS Winter Meeting Feb. 15-16 in Frankfort, which began with an advocacy day at the Capitol, where local directors displayed exhibits about their programs and met with legislators. The day concluded with both House and Senate floor resolutions, introduced by Rep. Chad McCoy of Bardstown and Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson, respectively, which were adopted in each chamber by voice vote. Pictured here are the directors gathered with Sen. Webb (front row, 3rd from right) on the floor of the Senate chamber


According to the resolutions, “Kentucky Main Street is at its core a self-help program, locally administered and funded through private investment partnered with public support, which achieves success by addressing a variety of issues that face traditional business districts and re-establishing downtown as the community’s focal point and center of activity.”


In addition to statewide investment numbers, the resolutions also noted that in 2016, Kentucky Main Street communities reported:

  • 1,452 new jobs created in Main Street districts
  • 234 new businesses created
  • 81 new housing units in downtowns 
  • 198 building rehabilitation projects completed 
  • $51,433,241 invested in historic building rehabilitation

On Thursday, directors met at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet building to hear program updates and special guest speakers, including presentations on bicycle and pedestrian projects and Tax Increment Financing.


Also on Thursday, KYMS Administrator Kitty Dougoud announced that 29 communities have achieved accreditation for 2017 as certified by both Kentucky Main Street and the National Main Street Center. These are Bardstown, Bellevue, Cadiz, Campbellsville, Carrollton, Covington, Cynthiana, Danville, Dawson Springs, Frankfort, Guthrie, Harrodsburg, Henderson, LaGrange, London, Maysville, Morehead, Murray, New Castle, Paducah, Perryville, Pikeville, Pineville, Princeton, Shelbyville, Springfield, Taylorsville, Williamsburg and Winchester. Accredited programs have met all of the 10 performance standards set forth by NMSC.


Affiliate programs have met at least five of the 10 accreditation standards, and Network programs are those in the beginning phases of the program or in some form of transition. Those earning Affiliate status are Marion, Paintsville, Scottsville, and the Tri-Cities program including Benham, Cumberland and Lynch; and Network programs are Dayton, Middlesboro, Nicholasville and Wayland.


Annual reinvestment statistics are collected from all participating Accredited, Affiliate and Network communities.


“The economic and community impact of the Kentucky Main Street Program has been particularly dramatic in rural and small towns across the Commonwealth,” said Regina Stivers, Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage. “By helping preserve historic resources unique to each community, focusing on small businesses, and creating a halo effect that encourages additional investment, the program supports the cabinet’s mission of improving quality of life and enhancing opportunities for heritage tourism.”


Kentucky Main Street’s mission is to prioritize the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings as the framework supporting downtown revitalization and economic development strategies. Participation requires local commitment and financial support, with a Main Street director to administer the program in partnership with a volunteer board. In turn, KHC provides technical and design assistance, training and educational opportunities, on-site visits, a resource center, national consultants and grant funding, when available.


For more about Kentucky Main Street, visit or contact Kitty Dougoud, 502-564-7005, ext. 127.


Media outlets are invited to contact your local Main Street program director for information about reinvestment statistics in your community.

tax credits and the Kentucky Main Street Program generate in economic investment back into communities. This information is presented both cumulatively (statewide) and by district, and a rehab tax credit project in each district of particular interest is highlighted.

Please use these to help illustrate the economic and cultural impact that historic preservation programs are having in your community!

In 2012, Annville Institute in Jackson County was listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Preservation Works: Historic Preservation Projects and Case Studies booklet coverPreservation Works

Does your legislator, local elected official, family member, friend or neighbor want to know more about historic preservation? Would you like to learn about how current preservation projects across the state are creating jobs, attracting private investment, generating tax revenue, promoting environmental sustainability, contributing to community planning and improving our quality of life? Then check out Preservation Works! Historic Preservation Projects and Case Studies [PDF - 976KB], produced by the Kentucky Heritage Council. For a hard copy, email Vicki Birenberg, CLG and Planning Coordinator, or call 502-564-7005, ext. 126.


... to the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office website. Our mission is to identify, preserve and protect the cultural resources of Kentucky. Heritage Council staff administer all state and federal historic preservation and incentive programs in Kentucky, including the National Register of Historic Places. Sixteen Kentucky Heritage Council members from every geographic region are appointed by the governor to serve four-year terms.Morris Fork Community Center, Breathitt County

The Heritage Council is repository of a priceless assemblage of survey forms, maps, photographs and other images in its unique archival collection of inventories of historic structures and archaeological sites across the state. Our rural heritage is well represented in all of our programs including the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a partnership with the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology, which promotes the preservation of archaeological sites and educates the public about archaeology and the importance of site protection.

The Heritage Council seeks to build a greater awareness of Kentucky's historic places and to encourage the long-term preservation of Kentucky's significant cultural resources.

Recent Kentucky Heritage Council Press Releases


The final 2017 Kentucky Heritage Council quarterly meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. EST Weds., Dec. 6, at Paul Sawyier Public Library, Frankfort. The meeting is open to the public

2016 Federal Historic Rehab Tax Credit Report

2016 National Park Service/Rutgers University "Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit," with the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Paducah a featured case study [PDF-663KB]

2016 Economic Impact of Historic Preservation by Congressional District

1st District

2nd District

3rd District

4th District

5th District

6th District


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Last Updated 12/5/2017