Registration open for Preservation Trailblazers Oct. 14
In tribute to the signing of the NHPA by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966, early online registration through Sept. 30 is $66 and includes a continental breakfast, box lunch and closing celebration. Registration after this date is $85, and a ticket for Preservation Trailblazers and the Closing Celebration only is $25.
Event Pays Tribute to the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and KHC
The public is invited to take part in a day-long celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) on Friday, Oct. 14 in downtown Frankfort.
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 Sponsor, The Kentucky Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America. The event is also presented in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society, Preservation Kentucky, Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation, Kentucky Main Street Program, Kentucky Division of Historic Properties, Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, University of Kentucky College of Design Historic Preservation Program, Preservation Louisville, Downtown Frankfort, Inc. Main Street, Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation, Frankfort Transit and Frankfort Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites.
Concurrent sessions exploring Kentucky’s historic preservation legacy will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Orlando Brown House at LHHS and the Old State Capitol, both National Historic Landmarks. The main event, “Preservation Trailblazers,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the historic Grand Theatre and feature an interactive conversation among some of the leaders of Kentucky’s historic preservation movement over five decades. Other highlights will include a keynote lunch and closing celebration on the grounds of Liberty Hall.
The Preservation Trailblazers panel will include 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.”
Event schedule [PDF-23KB]
Preservation Trailblazers site map [PDF-465KB]
“One can’t truly understand the history of historic preservation in Kentucky without a healthy understanding of the NHPA and its positive influence,” said Craig Potts, KHC executive director and state historic preservation officer. “This event will reflect on 50 years of successes, losses and milestones, and will take stock of the tremendous effort put forth by professionals, volunteers, advocates, leaders and regular citizens to preserve Kentucky’s irreplaceable cultural heritage.
“This is a great time to consider the Section 106 provision’s influence on federal projects throughout the state, the archaeological legacy of Red River Gorge, the breadth of historic sites documented through historic buildings survey and the National Register, the tremendous economic impact of the Kentucky Main Street Program, and the legacy of communities that have made preservation a priority through Certified Local Government designation,” he added.
LHHS Executive Director Julienne Foster said their organization is proud to host and administer the 50th anniversary event. LHHS was the first historic house museum in Kentucky to benefit from the NHPA through a large-scale archaeological investigation, and sessions will focus on that as well as the economic benefits of rural preservation and Kentucky women in house preservation.
“Liberty Hall was arguably ground zero for women at the forefront of the preservation movement in Kentucky,” she said. “Many women who worked to preserve LHHS also worked to preserve other important sites across the state. This seminar will recognize their legacy and inspire participants to blaze their own trails.”
The National Historic Preservation Act turns 50!
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.
The Preservation Payoff
Each year the Kentucky Heritage Council compiles information about the impact of historic preservation in each of Kentucky's six Congressional districts. These data sheets (at right) quantify the financial and cultural value that KHC programs such as rehabilitation 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
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.
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
- September is Kentucky Archaeology Month; public events will highlight research, site preservation, American Indian and pioneer technologies
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
Several public archaeology programs are planned in September, which Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed Kentucky Archaeology Month to recognize the professional practice of archaeology and how this work has helped unearth a more complete understanding of the history of the Commonwealth.
- Kentucky Heritage Council Strong Towns Conference Sept. 24-25 will explore new approaches to community growth, development; online registration open
Friday, July 31, 2015
A two-day conference exploring strategies for community growth and development based on 21st-century challenges will take place Sept. 24-25 in downtown Louisville. While many communities continue to focus on a post-World War II model of suburbanization, the Strong Towns approach maintains that to be successful, citizens and community leaders must adopt a new way of thinking about the future.
- 3 new employees join State Historic Preservation Office
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Three new employees have joined the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC), the agency has announced.