Kentucky Heritage Council
6 sites approved this week for listing in the National Register of Historic Places
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board this week approved six sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, nominations which will now be forwarded to the National Park Service (NPS) for final determination of eligibility. A decision on designation will be rendered within 60 to 90 days.
The sites were Marianne Theater in Bellevue; Charles Young Park and Community Center in Lexington; Lynn Acres Apartments and the Louisville, Gas & Electric Co. Service Station Complex in Jefferson County; Hellman Lumber and Manufacturing Co. in Covington; and Elkhorn City Elementary and High Schools in Pike County. A summary about each follows.
The Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office administers the National Register program in Kentucky and provides administrative support to the review board, which is charged with evaluating National Register nominations prior to their submission to NPS. The Dec.9 meeting took place at Paul Sawyier Public Library, Frankfort.
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.
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, at more than 3,300. 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.
Detailed nominations with photos are available at www.heritage.ky.gov/natreg/. The next review board meeting will take place in May.
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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. www.heritage.ky.gov
Marianne Theater, 609 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue; authored by David Killen, Northern Kentucky University graduate student. Designed by architect Paul B. Kiel in 1941 and built in 1942 by owner-manager Peter L. Smith, the Marianne Theater is a colorful structure located in the center of a city block. The theater’s design draws upon motifs from Art Deco and Moderne styles, featuring symmetrical design, glazed and colored tile, contrasts between horizontal and vertical elements, and geometrical shapes. The front facade is divided into three bays – a prominent entry bay flanked by a wing on each side. According to the author, “Considered Ultra Modern in comparison to other neighboring theaters, the Marianne was a social destination for the residents of Bellevue. The neighborhood theater became a significant place in which Americans participated in cultural entertainments and forged their cultural values… [It] remains remarkably intact from its time of construction.” It was nominated under Criterion C, property that embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction. Its significance was evaluated within the context “Neighborhood Theaters in Northern Kentucky, 1929-1965.” The theater was recently purchased by the city, which is conducting public meetings to determine a new use.
Charles Young Park and Community Center, 540 E. Third St., Lexington; authored by Randy Shipp, historic preservation specialist with Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Acquired in 1930, Charles Young Park was the second parcel of land purchased by the city to serve the recreational needs of the African American community. According to the author, “In Kentucky towns, African-Americans erected a community that stood alongside the community of whites, in which most of the same activities occurred…” The area proposed for listing is 2.6 acres, with two contributing buildings, erected in the mid-1930s, and one contributing site. The community center is a one-story, brick veneer, side-gable building on a raised, cut-stone foundation, with a rear addition featuring a gymnasium and stage. The second contributing building is a one-story brick restroom built after the land was acquired but before construction of the community center. Most of the remaining site consists of open green space, with the exception of a paved, multi-use ball court and playground area. The park retains a high degree of integrity as an open, recreational space in an urban setting. It is being nominated under Criterion A, property associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history, and Criterion C, with the park’s significance evaluated within the historic context, “African American Neighborhoods in Lexington, 1865-1965.”
Lynn Acres Apartments, 100 E. Southland Blvd, Louisville; authored by Rachel M. Kennedy, senior architectural historian and preservation planner, and Emily Skinner, architectural historian assistant, both with Corn Island Archaeology; and Joanne Weeter, historic preservation consultant. Lynn Acres is a garden apartment complex located in southwest Louisville, including 66 two-story apartment buildings of various configurations on 28.81 acres, constructed between 1947 and 1950. The complex was designed by T.D. Luckett of the noted architectural firm D.X. Murphy and Associates, and landscape architect Carl Berg. According to the authors, Lynn Acres was built “…with a post-World War II-era approach to site planning and landscape amenities, as dictated by Federal Housing Administration financial assistance.” In terms of building stock and site placement, the complex stands in contrast to its neighbors. Lynn Acres is composed of four-, eight- or 12-plex multi-family building units in a consciously platted curvilinear subdivision, while the surrounding neighborhood is composed primarily of brick and frame single-family or duplex detached housing, small-scale commercial buildings, and several institutional and ecclesiastical structures, most of which are situated within rectilinear or gridiron street plans. The site is being nominated under Criterion A, significant within the historic context, “The Post-World War II Housing Crisis in Louisville and Jefferson County, and Federal Government Interventions, 1932-1955.”
Louisville Gas & Electric Co. Service Station Complex, 1228 S. Seventh St., Louisville; authored by Joanne Weeter, historic preservation consultant. Located at the corner of Seventh Street and Ormsby Avenue in Louisville, all 4.4 acres of this LG&E complex historically associated with the site are proposed for listing, including three contributing buildings and one non-contributing building. The complex is located in central Louisville just south of the city’s central business district; east of the complex is the Old Louisville National Register District, a Victorian-era residential neighborhood. The principal structure is the LG&E Co. Service Station building, constructed in 1924-25, according to plans by Byllesby Engineering and Management Corporation of Chicago. The building served as a service station or staging facility for the day-to-day operations of this private utility. Dating to 1890, the Gatehouse Building is a small, brick, Richardsonian Romanesque-style structure that housed valves, an exhaust system and a pump room. The Cable Warehouse Building, circa 1928, is a simple, utilitarian, one-story frame building sheathed in metal and rectangular in shape. According to the author, “The LG&E Service Station conveys important information about how one midsize American city provided gas and electric service in the late-19th and early-20th century.” The complex is being nominated under Criterion A, significant within the context, “Gas and Electric Power Service in Louisville, 1890-1964.”
Hellmann Lumber and Manufacturing Co., 321 W. 12th St., Covington; authored by Beth Johnson, preservation and planning specialist for the city of Covington. Constructed between 1886 and 1894, the Hellman Lumber and Manufacturing Co. building occupies roughly a half a city block. It is associated with one of Covington’s oldest businesses and with the lumberyard industry, and played an important role in the construction of many of Covington’s substantial buildings. This structure is an intact, two-story, two-bay, side-gabled brick warehouse-style corner commercial building, approximately 14,000-16,000 square feet. The original foundation is wet-masonry limestone, and building characteristics include tall, narrow windows, doors topped by segmented arches, oversized doors, vertical divided windows, hand-painted signs and loading dock openings, in three distinct sections. According to the author, “As lumber yards changed and increased their inventory, altered the way they milled, and evolved in how they served their customers, the buildings would be tailored to those changes. The business adapted the building so that the Hellmanns could satisfy their customers’ desires.… The building retains much of its original architecture and exposed interior support system, giving the property the ability to inform us about this type of important business to the building trades.” It is being nominated under Criterion A, significant within the context “Lumberyards in Covington, 1880-1960.”
Elkhorn City Elementary and High Schools, 551 Russell St., Elkhorn City; authored by Eric Whisman, historic preservation consultant. This nomination consists of Elkhorn High School, circa 1938; Elkhorn Elementary School, circa 1955; and a music building, circa 1956; and three non-contributing buildings, all situated on a 6.8-acre parcel. Elkhorn High School is a two-story masonry building, constructed using funds from the Works Progress Administration and attributed to architect Walt Merryweather. To the rear is an attached masonry gymnasium and stage with a Quonset-style arched roof. The elementary school is also two stories, a masonry structure punctuated by steel windows with a flat roof. The Elkhorn City Schools band and choir room is a simple concrete block building with a single room, chimneys on either end and an entrance door topped with a transom. All were abandoned in 2002. According to the author, the community “has long been associated with and influenced by the economic well-being of the coal mining industry. During the contextual period, coal mining required progressively less manpower, leading many coal companies to downsize their labor force, and to divest themselves of company-owned towns. Despite this pressure on the local economy, Elkhorn City demonstrated its belief in its own permanence, and in the benefit of providing a quality educational plant for its children...” The buildings are being nominated under Criterion A, significant within the context, “Education in Elkhorn City, 1938-1965.”