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Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board to consider three nominations for National Register

Three sites from Kentucky — including a large historic district in Newport, an architecturally distinctive home in Whitesville, and the last surviving building from the Greenville Female Academy — will be considered for National Register of Historic Places listing during a meeting Tuesday in Frankfort.

The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board will review these nominations at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Paul Sawyer Public Library. The board is charged with evaluating National Register submissions from Kentucky and is attached to the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office, which administers the program in partnership with the National Park Service.

Buena Vista Historic District is a diverse, densely built community featuring a tight grid of narrow streets and 1,450 contributing historic resources including houses, sites and objects. According to the nomination author, Margo Warminski, “Buena Vista developed as a working and middle-class residential neighborhood with numerous industrial uses on its periphery and corner commercial buildings scattered throughout.”

Structures date from 1850 to 1925, with predominant building types including two- and three-bay and Northern Kentucky Townhouses, shotgun cottages, and L-plan residences. Notably, through the historic resources inventory process, a new housing type was identified and dubbed the “Northern Kentucky Shotgun.”

The dominant architectural styles are Italianate, Second Empire, Eastlake and Queen Anne, with a few buildings reflecting the influence of Greek Revival, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman modes. The district meets National Register Criterion A, representing the transformation of Newport from a small, genteel, Southern river town to a bustling, expanding, industrial suburb with a diverse population that included large numbers of immigrants.

Pictured from left to right: Buena Vista Historic District showing examples of the Northern Kentucky Townhouse; James L. Stinnett House; Professor William Green Residence.

Building survey and preparing the National Register nomination were supported by grants to the city through its designation as a Certified Local Government program. These federal matching grants are allocated to state preservation offices as a pass-through in support of local community preservation efforts to recognize, save, and protect historic places.

The James L. Stinnett House is a local landmark in the heart of Whitesville that dates to about 1900, interpreted as an example of Victorian-era design reflecting the popular Queen Anne Revival style. Stinnett was a wealthy businessman and prominent resident who found success as a trader and tobacco dealer and served as a local bank president.

The two-story frame home retains its original grandeur, with 14 Corinthian-style columns supporting a wraparound porch and a two-story turret topped by a decorative a brass finial. The architectural integrity of the interior remains, and like the exterior reflects superior craftsmanship including an oak-columned entrance, cantilevered stairway, transomed doorways, and glass-enclosed sunroom.

The home is nominated under National Register Criterion C as an “excellent example” of late Victorian-era styling, significant for its distinctive style within a community where most homes were much more modest. The nomination was authored by Jackie Bickett with the Whitesville Historical Society, which now owns the home and is spearheading restoration.

The Professor William Green Residence was constructed in 1850 and served as the home of the founder and president of Greenville Female Academy, the first higher educational institution for women in Muhlenberg County. In addition to the house, the campus originally included a brick classroom/study hall and frame dormitory.

Around 1910, the exterior of the structure was remodeled significantly, transforming it from a mid-19th century brick cottage into a Mission-style residence that today is a rare surviving example of Mission architecture in the region and one of only two such buildings in the community. The interior retains much of the circa-1850 design and architectural elements.

The nomination was authored by John J. Tomasic, who writes that the residence meets National Register Criterion A for its association with the origin of secondary education for women in Muhlenberg County, and Criterion C because it embodies and retains distinctive Mission-style architectural elements.

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, many of which are districts encompassing multiple resources. 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.

Following review board deliberation, NPS will have 45 days from receipt to issue a final determination of eligibility. Review board members are Dr. Karl B. Raitz, Lexington, Chair; Dr. James Claypool, Park Hills; Dr. Eric Jackson, Highland Heights; Margaret Rogers Jacobs, Dr. Kim A. McBride, and Julie Riesenweber, Lexington; and Natalie G. Wilkerson, 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 meeting is open to the public. An agenda, complete draft nominations, and high-resolution photos are available at www.heritage.ky.gov.

From Kentucky Heritage Council

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