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Time is running out. We want to hear from you!

Survey graphicKHC is seeking opinions from all of our constituents as we develop Kentucky's next five-year state historic preservation plan. What do you think are the biggest challenges to preserving historic buildings or sites in your community? What are the most effective tools to help communities preserve historic assets, or what needs are not being met? What preservation goals are most important for our state?

Help set the course for Kentucky's future by taking a quick online survey. We want honest feedback and creative ideas to help address issues such as how to approach neighborhood preservation more effectively, stem demolition by neglect, and foster greater understanding of the benefits of – and a stronger public commitment toward – the preservation and reuse of old buildings.

Hurry - the survey closes Tuesday, March 31! It takes just 5 minutes, and we are particularly interested in hearing from individuals who do not think of themselves as “historic preservationists.” Thank you!

Know a great project or someone deserving?

BotherumHistoric BotherumNominations are now being accepted for the 37th Annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards, a signature springtime event presented in partnership with the Kentucky Heritage Council. The ceremony takes place each May at the Kentucky Governor's Mansion during National Historic Preservation Month.

The statewide awards recognize excellence in the preservation of Kentucky’s historic buildings and cultural resources, including archaeological sites. Contributions can be for investment in rehabilitation, advocacy and education, creating partnerships, nonprofit leadership, volunteerism, public involvement, or a lifelong commitment or significant achievement. They are given in three categories:

Preservation Project awards honor outstanding examples of historic building restoration or rehabilitation, or projects that have contributed to the preservation of Kentucky’s built environment or cultural resources. Top: 2014 project award winner Botherum, Lexington, circa 1851, designed by Lexington architect and builder John McMurtry and unique in that the design incorporates Greek, Roman, and Gothic architectural elements. Below: Clarkson House, Vine Grove, circa 1802, a five-bay, two-story, Federal-style brick structure on a stone foundation, with a 1½-story frame and log wing added in the 1840s.

Service to Preservation awards recognize individuals, organizations, nonprofits, public officials, financial institutions, news media, volunteers and others whose contributions have had a positive impact in their communities. 

The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth. This highest award honors the foundation's namesake, Ida Lee Willis, who served as Kentucky's first state historic preservation officer when the agency was created in 1966.Clarkson HouseClarkson House before rehabilitation

All nominations must be received in the KHC office or postmarked by Friday, April 17. At right, find guidelines, nomination form, submittal instructions and more about previous recipients.

Nominations may be submitted via email to kyheritage@ky.gov; by fax, to 502-564-5820; or via mail or in person to the Kentucky Heritage Council office, 300 Washington Street, Frankfort, 40601. Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges representing various agencies and nonprofit organizations, including the KHC and members of the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation.

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 (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


Ida Lee Willis Awards


Nomination form

Nomination form

2014 ceremony

Previous winners


Native American Weekend March 27-29, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, sponsored by the KY Native American Heritage Commission and KY Native American Intertribal Alliance [PDF-705KB]

Economic impact of historic preservation by Congressional District

1st District
Rep. Ed Whitfield

2nd District
Rep. Brett Guthrie

3rd District
Rep. John Yarmuth

4th District
Rep. Thomas Massie

5th District
Rep. Hal Rogers

6th District
Rep. Andy Barr

Statewide Overview

2014 Success Stories [Word-28KB]


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Last Updated 3/25/2015
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