10 Kentucky sites listed this year in National Register of Historic Places; new state coordinator named

Lisa Mullins Thompson and Maysville Mayor David Cartmell on a recent site visit to the Richard Durrett House, Maysville

The National Register of Historic Places has listed 10 Kentucky sites and historic districts in 2018, according to the National Park Service (NPS). These include the most recent, Battery Bates and Battery Coombs Historic District in Covington, named for two Civil War cannon battery defensive fortifications built by the Union Army and located in what is known today as Devou Park.

Battery Bates and Battery Coombs “retain historic integrity and are the most intact of the remaining fortification sites in northern Kentucky,” according to the nomination. The 246-acre site comprises two contiguous sections that were linked by rifle trenches and military roads, once part of a larger Northern Kentucky defensive fortification system that helped prevent a Confederate attack on the region in September 1862.


Also listed in August was the Dr. Francis Joseph Halcomb, Jr. House in Scottsville, including a house with an original c1900 log structure and six outbuildings painted to simulate log construction. Dr. Halcomb was a native of Simpson County who practiced in Europe during World War II, then operated a medical office in Scottsville for more than 40 years.


Other listings this year included Pope Villa in Lexington, designed by early American architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe; the Bonnie Leslie Historic District in Bellevue, a 20th-century suburban neighborhood of single-family homes developed between 1920-1940; Chalybeate Springs Hotel Springhouse in Edmonson County, a modest building dating between 1875-1899, the last remaining structure on grounds where a rural mineral springs hotel and resort once stood; the Louisville Veteran’s Administration Hospital, a complex of 13 contributing buildings dating to 1952, part of the VA’s effort to provide a nationwide program of care for WWII veterans; and LeCompte Saloon in Louisville, a two-story brick commercial building dating to the mid-1880s, one of the earliest corner stores remaining in the historic Portland neighborhood.


Three Mason County sites were also listed. May’s Lick Negro School is a consolidated school built in 1920 for African Americans, a portion of which was funded by the Rosenwald Foundation; the Richard Durrett House is a brick, Federal-style house dating to about 1801, with an unusual floor plan featuring two front doors; and the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Monument in the Maysville-Mason County Cemetery is a 42-foot monument to Union efforts erected by the Joseph Heiser G.A.R. Post and dedicated in 1887.


The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board is appointed by the Governor and charged with evaluating National Register nominations from Kentucky prior to their submission to NPS. The board meets twice yearly and will meet again Dec. 17 in Frankfort. The Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) administers the National Register program in Kentucky and provides administrative support to the review board.


Lisa Mullins Thompson was recently named KHC’s National Register coordinator. She is a former director of Paducah Main Street (previously Paducah Renaissance Alliance) and most recently served at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.


“Serving the public and working with stakeholders and advocates to identify and amplify the stories of Kentucky’s special places is an important step in our nation’s process to preserve historic places and communities,” she said. “I am thrilled to be back home in Kentucky and to have an opportunity to tell these stories and reflect on the experiences of all people while identifying and saving the places where their history happened.”


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 federal tax credits for rehabilitation of these properties 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.


For more, or to review complete National Register nominations, visit www.heritage.ky.gov.

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