Boyle among leaders in Ky. for additions to National Register of Historic Places

Published 7:44 pm Friday, October 4, 2019


Boyle County is one of three counties leading the state in additions to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019, based on information from the Kentucky Heritage Council.

Two new sites in Boyle County have been added to the register this year: the McGrorty Avenue-Old Wilderness Road Historic District and the Thomas Barbee House, both in Danville, according to KHC.

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The only other counties with multiple additions so far in 2019 are Jefferson/Louisville Metro with five; and Woodford County with two.

The City of Newport and Campbell County, in northern Kentucky next to Cincinnati, would also wind up with two additions this year if Newport’s Buena Vista Neighborhood is approved this month.

A total of 15 sites in Kentucky have been added to the register this year, including three historic districts. Two more sites and Newport’s district are scheduled to be considered for addition this month.

The McGrorty Avenue-Old Wilderness Trail Road Historic District in Danville is one of the three historic districts added so far; it is “an intact African American neighborhood with 16 homes dating from 1871 to 1950,” according to KHC. The district was added in March; it includes homes that date back to shortly after the U.S. Civil War.

“I hope that this recognition will actually help the folks that own the property there to get some tax credits to start working on their properties,” Danville Preservation Coordinator Joni House said when the district was added. “It’s an important corridor coming into downtown Danville.”

The other two districts added this year are:

  • Louisville’s Butchertown Historic District, which was expanded to include 52 more residential and commercial properties that bear historical significance for the years 1800 through 1966; and
  • the Williamsburg Historic District, which includes “61 contributing buildings and structures over 40 downtown acres.”

The Thomas Barbee House in Danville was added as an individual site in the register; it is a “two-story, single-pen log home dating to the 1790s, constructed around the time Danville served as the first state capital of Kentucky.”

The site is also known as the Willis Russell Memorial House. It took 35 years of work to get the structure added to the register, which happened in July.

“It’s important that we recognize Danville’s long and diverse history,” House said when in July. “This historic log structure certainly merited national recognition and now it has taken its place alongside Danville’s most historic structures.”

Other Kentucky sites added in 2019, according to KHC, are:

  • Metro Louisville – J.J. Reilly Manufacturing, a c. 1870 building nominated for its significance as a metal manufacturing facility that produced pumps for large-scale distilling operations; Shafer’s Hall, a two-story Italianate commercial building in Portland dating to 1877, which operated as a social hall from 1892 through the mid-20th century; and Puritan Apartment Hotel, a six-story building in Old Louisville constructed in phases between 1914 and 1958.
  • Campbell County — Grote Manufacturing Company, Bellevue, built by the National Colortype Company in 1924-25 and updated by Grote Manufacturing in the mid-1940s, featuring fire-resistant poured concrete walls, ceilings and floors.
  • Clark County — Wright-Evans House, a stone hall-parlor residence dating to 1815 and updated in 1926 with a larger, architect-designed brick addition, merging two distinct styles and representing two distinct periods of development.
  • Fayette County — Trail’s End Camp, “one of the first organized camps for girls in the South,” operated from 1913 through 1935 on approximately 59 acres and including a Rustic-style lodge, remnants of an outdoor playground and recreation court, and several trails.
  • Jefferson, Bullitt, Spencer and Nelson Counties — Louisville to Bardstown Turnpike Milestones and Roadbed: nine historic limestone mile markers and a small section of limestone roadbed along U.S. 31E marking the path of the 1830s Louisville-Bardstown Turnpike.
  • Letcher County — David Back Log House and Farm near Blackey, including a log house, smoke house, corn crib and barn built in approximately 1875 with local timber.
  • McCracken County — Petitt Building, Paducah: a brick, two-story, corner commercial building constructed from 1908-10 for a local pharmacist and designed to incorporate separate living space on both floors.
  • Woodford County — Heartland Farm, an antebellum farmstead of 30 acres including a brick, two-story, Queen Anne farmhouse c. 1886 with Eastlake-style elements; and the Ready-Twyman House, a brick central passage residence with a Gothic Revival façade, built in several stages beginning in the 1830s.

Other sites to be considered for listing on Oct. 22 are:

  • the Professor William Green Residence in Greenville; and
  • the James L. Stinnett House in Whitesville.

“The National Register is the nation’s official list of historic and archaeological resources deemed worthy of preservation,” according to KHC. “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.

“National Register designation is honorary and does not restrict property ownership rights, though it does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects. Owners of National Register properties may qualify for state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits or receive tax benefits for making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement.”

There are 97 Boyle County sites currently listed on the register.