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Kentucky Heritage Council
Public events highlight 2008 KY Historic Preservation Conference September 4-6 in Bardstown

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 29, 2008  
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Several events geared to the public will highlight the 2008 Kentucky Historic Preservation Conference September 4-6 in Bardstown, where nearly 400 people will gather to learn about Preserving the Spirit of Home and sample the community’s spirits of preservation, religious heritage and possibly bourbon.
Partnering with the statewide non-profit advocacy and education organization Preservation Kentucky and the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office, the conference is presented in cooperation with the Bardstown Main Street Program, Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist and Convention Commission, Nelson County Economic Development Agency, Joint City-County Planning Commission of Nelson County and the city of Bardstown.  The goal of the biennial conference is to share information about approaches, techniques and programs that will inspire and support participants in preserving important buildings and sites in their own communities.

New this year and open to the public will be a Preservation Trade Show where individuals can meet and talk to craftspeople, contractors, architects, engineers, exhibitors, preservation professionals and program staff from the Kentucky Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky.  The trade show will be from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, September 5 in the Fellowship Hall at Bardstown United Methodist Church, 116 E. Flaget Street. 

Technical assistance and information about incentive programs such as federal and state rehabilitation tax credits, using the right materials, or finding vendors, trained professionals and consultants will be available.  Traditional building skills and hands-on training programs coordinated by the Heritage Council will also be highlighted.  Exhibitors will be Kentucky State Parks, John Milner Associates, AMEC, Palmer Engineering, Edwards Moving & Rigging, Inc., Studio Kremer, K. Norman Berry Associates Architects, Taylor Made Plans, and the Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation as well as the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Heritage Trail.  Other conference sponsors, not exhibiting, are Ray Black & Sons, Edith S. Bingham, Wilson & Muir Bank & Trust Co., and Jerry and Linda Bruckheimer.

The Joint City-County Planning Commission of Nelson County is sponsoring two events September 5 both open to the public, a barbecue fundraiser and neighborhood walking tour.

From noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion on East Flaget, the Nelson County Black Citizens Arts Council will co-host the barbecue lunch with proceeds to benefit their efforts to preserve the Bowman-Cherry Center on North First Street, the first formal public school in Bardstown for African American children.  The cost is $10 and guests pay at the door.  Named for two early schoolteachers, the Bowman-Cherry Center originally housed the Bardstown Colored Grade School, also called the Bluff School, from 1903-1923.

The school will be featured along with five houses, two churches and an early cobblestone path which will be open to visitors during the free walking tour from 1 to 5 p.m. along East Flaget Street, North 1st Street, East Broadway, North 2nd Street and East Brashear Avenue, all located within a historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Concurrently with these activities, from noon to 2:30 p.m. Friday, the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission will sponsor Native American Storytelling, Dance, Regalia and Culture on the lawn at Spalding Hall, 114 N. 5th Street.  From noon to 1 p.m., children are invited to hear stories that help explain different types of Native American dance regalia and then have an opportunity to participate in a social dance.  From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., adults are invited to participate in a discussion about Native American cultural values, spiritual beliefs, lifeways, music and songs.

Finally, the conference bookstore hosted by Bardstown Booksellers, 129 N. 3rd Street, will host a series of book signings by Kentucky authors.  From 3 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, authors will include James Archambeault with his newest book, Kentucky Horse Country: Images of the Bluegrass, plus several local innkeepers signing Room at the Table, published by the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky.  At the Preservation Trade Show Friday, featured book signings will be Sandra Davis with That Special Touch, a cookbook featuring Maker’s Mark, and the A. Lincoln Legacy Tasting Tour cookbook published by the Springfield Main Street/Renaissance Program.  From noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Bardstown native Ralph O. Speck will be on hand to sign Black Draught, Coal Oil, and Sassafras Tea: Stories from the Past: Some Humorous, Some Enlightening, All Taken from Life.

The conference will feature three keynotes including Dave Shuffett, host of KET’s Kentucky Life; Sarah Peveler, senior trainer with the Philadelphia-based Partners for Sacred Places, who will present Spiritual Homes – Community Assets at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral; and Mike Jackson, FAIA, chief architect of the Preservation Services Division of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, with Sustaining Design: Lessons from the Past.

Other activities include:

  • An opening reception, Kentucky Proud sampler and candlelight tours of Federal Hill at My Old Kentucky Home State Park
  • Nearly 30 educational sessions on themes including rural issues, advocacy, organizational issues and historic building rehab
  • Extended educational tracks focusing on the National Register of Historic Places and military sites preservation
  • Specialty tracks for Kentucky Main Street Program communities and Certified Local Governments
  • A special 10th anniversary fundraiser for Preservation Kentucky, Inc., featuring dinner and an auction in historic downtown Bloomfield
  • Educational emphasis on programs and outcomes of the Kentucky Crossroads Rural Heritage Development Initiative (RHDI), a national pilot project exploring rural-based preservation and economic development strategies in eight central Kentucky counties – including Nelson

Those interested in attending can still register for $155 online at or on-site at the registration desk located at the Bardstown Welcome Center on the Court Square.  Student registration is $85, while single-day registration is $75.  A full program and registration materials are available at the Heritage Council Web site,, or call the Heritage Council at 502-564-7005, ext. 120, or Preservation Kentucky at 270-358-9069, or email

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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 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, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.

Preservation Kentucky is a membership-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Kentucky’s historic resources through education and advocacy.  Preservation Kentucky provides an important link between the public and private sector and also helps monitor and promote preservation-friendly legislation at the local, state and federal levels.  By working for the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic properties today, the economic benefits of historic preservation will help to safeguard the unique Kentucky landscape for future generations.


Last Updated 8/29/2008