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Preservation Trailblazers Oct. 14 pays tribute to National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and KHC 50th Anniversary

In tribute to the signing of the NHPA by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966, early online registration of $66 has been extended through Oct. 12! Full-day registration includes a continental breakfast, box lunch, and Closing Celebration.
Registration for the evening Preservation Trailblazer panel at the Grand Theatre plus Closing Celebration only is $25.
Presented by Liberty Hall Historic Site and KHC

Friday, Oct. 14
Downtown Frankfort

Preservation Trailblazers logoExplore Kentucky’s historic preservation legacy in concurrent sessions, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Liberty Hall Historic Site and the Old State Capitol, both National Historic Landmarks

Keynote lunch with guest speaker, retired State Historic Preservation Officer David Morgan

“Preservation Trailblazers” main event takes place at 5:30 p.m. at the historic Grand Theatre, an interactive conversation among some of the leaders of Kentucky’s historic preservation movement over five decades

A Closing Celebration immediately follows on the grounds of Liberty Hall, with barbecue and burgoo, music by The Leestown String Band, and Buffalo Trace bourbon. Full-day registration includes two complimentary drink tickets

Meet the original Preservation Trailblazers, learn about current challenges and tools to assist local communities and preservation supporters, and create new energy for the preservation movement as we embark on the next 50 years!

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 Sponsors, The Kentucky Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of AmericaExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.  and the Blue Grass Trust for Historic PreservationExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. . The event is also presented in partnership with the Kentucky Historical SocietyExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , Preservation KentuckyExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , Kentucky Trust for Historic PreservationExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , Kentucky Main Street Program, Kentucky Division of Historic PropertiesExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , University of Kentucky College of Design Historic Preservation ProgramExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , Preservation LouisvilleExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , Passport RadioExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. Downtown Frankfort, Inc. Main StreetExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , Franklin County Trust for Historic PreservationExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. , Frankfort TransitExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. and Frankfort Parks, Recreation and Historic SitesExternal Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. .

8-9 a.m. - Liberty Hall Historic Site/Orlando Brown House
Including continental breakfast
Concurrent Sessions
9-10:15 a.m.

Liberty Hall Historic Site: Kentucky Women in Historic House Preservation
Women were the chief architects of the historic preservation movement across the United States. Kentucky women were particularly active, including Franklin County native Eleanor O’Rear, who was a member of the Kentucky Heritage Council, a board member of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation and the Kentucky Historical Society, chairman of the Bodley-Bullock House Restoration Committee, and champion of Liberty Hall. Patrick Snadon will examine her contributions to the field of preservation, at the national and state level. Jonathan Coleman will discuss the role of Beulah Nunn at the Mary Todd Lincoln House and her efforts to preserve mansions such as White Hall. Becky Shipp will explore the impact of the National Society of Colonial Dames in Kentucky on the preservation of Liberty Hall and the efforts of individual women who preserved the homes located in downtown Frankfort’s Corner in Celebrities.
Dr. Patrick Snadon
, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Cincinnati
Jonathan Coleman, Curator and Assistant Director, Mary Todd Lincoln House
Becky Shipp, Tour Administrator, Liberty Hall Historic Site
Julienne Foster, Executive Director, Liberty Hall Historic Site
Old State Capitol:
The Archaeological and Cultural Resource Legacy of Preserving Red River Gorge
Red River Gorge is a unique natural area known for its towering stone arches, unusual rock formations and sandstone cliffs. It is a designated National Geological Area, National Natural Landmark and National Archaeological District, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Rockshelters throughout the five-county region offer a prehistoric archaeological record documenting 12,000 years of settlement in Kentucky and the lifeways of its earliest inhabitants. Learn how a proposed dam galvanized a movement for the preservation of this region, how early research has evolved and expanded what we know about the earliest inhabitants and shaped archaeological and cultural resource management in future decades, and what the future holds for the preservation and management of this region.
Donna Hopkins
, Former Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
Dr. David Pollack, Director, Kentucky Archaeological Survey
Dwight R. Cropper, Site Protection and Cultural Resource Management Consultant and member of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission
Wayna Adams, Daniel Boone National Forest Archaeologist
Moderated by Nick Laracuente, KHC Archaeology Review Coordinator
10:30-11:45 a.m.

Liberty Hall Historic Site: Tourism and Economic Development through the Preservation of Rural Historic Resources
Rural communities across Kentucky have experienced the disappearance of historic buildings. This session will explore how preservation and restoration of rural historic buildings creates opportunities for cultural tourism and economic development. The speakers will discuss transformative ventures in Stanford and Gratz, Kentucky.
Kathleen and Doug Martin
, Blue Wing Landing, Gratz
Paul Nicholson, River Boat Captain, Rocking Thunder Jet Board Rides of Madison, Indiana
Garlan Vanhook, Architect representing Jess and Angela Correll, Stanford
Old State Capitol: Section 106 of the NHPA: How One Paragraph Changed the Course of Kentucky's Future
Kentucky would look very different without the National Historic Preservation Act and the work of the Kentucky Heritage Council over five decades, due to one of the most important passages in this legislation. Section 106 requires federal agencies to take into account the effects federally funded projects may have on historic and archaeological sites, and to consult with the state historic preservation office and other interested parties – including the public – on ways these projects might avoid, minimize or mitigate any potential adverse effects. Case studies will explore a variety of projects and how Section 106 has been (and continues to be) one of the strongest tools for preservation advocates to become involved and have a voice in project planning.
Leslie Barras
, Attorney and Consultant, and author of "Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act: Back to Basics," a report prepared for the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Craig Potts, KHC Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer
Moderated by Jennifer Ryall, KHC Environmental Review Coordinator, and Bill Huser, Transportation Archaeology Review Coordinator
Noon-1:30 p.m. – Keynote Lunch, Liberty Hall Historic Site, with guest speaker David L. Morgan, Kentucky State Historic Preservation Officer 1984-2006
Concurrent Sessions
1:45-3 p.m.

Liberty Hall Historic Site: Archaeology and Historic Sites
Since the 1970s, archaeological investigations have helped to inform the interpretation of historic sites across Kentucky. This session will provide an overview of historic archaeology and illustrate its contributions to research, interpretation, and education projects in the museums of the Bluegrass State. Case studies in Versailles, Louisville and Frankfort will be featured.
Kim McBride
, Co-Director, Kentucky Archaeological Survey
Nick Laracuente, Archaeology Review Coordinator, Kentucky Heritage Council
Patti Linn, Site Manager, Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing
Vicky Middleswarth, Education Coordinator, Liberty Hall Historic Site
Old State Capitol: The Evolution and Revitalization of Kentucky's Main Streets
The Kentucky Main Street Program is the oldest statewide Main Street revitalization program in the nation, established by the Kentucky Heritage Council in 1979 after the Commonwealth was rejected to take part in a pilot project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. KHC also administers the Certified Local Government (CLG) Program in Kentucky, a federal-state-local partnership that promotes historic preservation planning and protection of prehistoric and historic resources at the local level. Take a road trip through history and learn about the economic factors that led to the need for focused downtown historic preservation and revitalization efforts, the impact the CLG program has brought to bear, and how both of these initiatives continue to positively impact many communities today.
Tom Moriarity
, One of the founders of the National Trust Main Street Program
Kathy LaPlante, Senior National Main Street Center Program Officer
David Morgan, Retired KHC Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer
Vicki Birenberg, KHC Certified Local Government Program and Planning Coordinator
Moderated by Kitty Dougoud, Kentucky Main Street Program Administrator
3:15-4:30 p.m.

Liberty Hall Historic Site: Walking Tour, Senator John Brown's Neighborhood
When John Brown built Liberty Hall, the city of Frankfort boasted about 600 residents. This walk through downtown Frankfort highlights early Kentucky structures, including the Vest-Lindsey House, whose preservation is credited to Ida Lee Willis, Kentucky’s first state historic preservation officer, and buildings that have benefited from the National Historic Preservation Act. The route will include Liberty Hall’s renovated laundry and smokehouse and refreshments at the Vest-Lindsey House.
Tour Coordinator: Becky Shipp, Tour Administrator, Liberty Hall Historic Site
Old State Capitol: The National Register of Historic Places: Telling Kentucky's Stories
Kentucky has been at the forefront of listing diverse sites in the National Register, the nation’s official list of historic and archaeological sites deemed worthy of preservation, from the earliest days following passage of the NHPA, to the national celebration of the 50,000th listing in Paris, KY, in 1988, continuing through today. Laying the groundwork has been the Kentucky Historic Sites Survey, which has documented historic places across the state since the first published volume in 1971 and which recently surpassed 100,000 entries. Hear about some of the most unique listings, stories from the road, and how these programs have evolved over the decades in terms of the places we consider “historic.”
Chuck Parrish
, first KHC staffer and retired historian with the Louisville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Walter E. Langsam, architectural historian
Dr. Daniel Vivian, director of the Public History Department, University of Louisville, and former historian with the National Register of Historic Places
Rachel Kennedy, KHC Historic Survey Program Coordinator
Moderated by Marty Perry, KHC National Register Program Coordinator

4:30-5 p.m.: Participants invited to the Vest-Lindsey House for refreshments

5:30 p.m.:  Preservation Trailblazers, The Grand Theatre
Panelists: 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.”

A Closing Celebration will immediately follow at Liberty Hall Historic Site. Finish the day with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Kentucky craft beer, barbecue sliders, and a big, bubbly kettle of burgoo whipped up by Frankfort’s burgoo master Russ Kennedy. Catch up with old friends, enjoy music by The Leestown String Band, and join in a celebratory toast to the next 50 years!

Preservation Trailblazers site map [PDF-465KB]

Owsley Brown II Family Foundation logo

         Kentucky Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America logo


The National Historic Preservation Act turns 50!

Preservation 50 logoPassed 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 [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. ], a campaign to promote the anniversary and events going on in various states throughout next year. Visit [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. ] 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

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


Preservation Trailblazers flyer [PDF-279KB]

See the updated KY Historic Properties Survey Form and instructions

Economic impact of historic preservation by Congressional District

1st District

2nd District

3rd District

4th District

5th District

6th District


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KHC agency brochure
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Some of the links on this site may resolve to non-governmental agencies. The information on these pages is not controlled by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council or the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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Last Updated 10/6/2016