Kentucky Heritage Council
Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board approves eight properties for listing in the National Register
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board approved eight sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places during a meeting Thursday at Spindletop Hall in Fayette County. Spindletop Farm was one of the nominations considered, as were Springview Farm, also in Fayette County; the Bybee House in Glasgow; the “Raccoon” John Smith House in Owingsville; the C&O Railway Depot in Catlettsburg; a Lustron House and Jefferson Jacob School in Metro Louisville; and an expansion of the Jefferson Street-Fountain Avenue Residential District in Paducah.
The review board is charged with evaluating eligibility criteria for National Register nominations from Kentucky prior to their submission to the National Park Service, which administers the program in partnership with state historic preservation offices, including the Kentucky Heritage Council. Approved nominations are forwarded to the NPS, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, for final determination of eligibility, with a decision required within 45 days of receipt.
A description of each nomination follows. Complete nominations and photos are available at the KHC website, www.heritage.ky.gov/natreg/.
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 in the nation – following New York, Massachusetts and Ohio. 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, or possess a special role in the development of our country.
National Register status does not affect property ownership rights but does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects. Owners of National Register properties may qualify for federal or state tax credits for certified rehabilitation of these properties or by making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement.
NOTE: May is National Preservation Month. Many events are planned across the U.S. to promote historic places for the purpose of instilling national and community pride, promoting heritage tourism, and showing the social and economic benefits of historic preservation. According to the National Park Service, $50.8 billion in private investment has been made through Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, 60,000 jobs are created annually through rehabilitation projects and 187,088 units of low and moderate income housing have been created.
For more information, call the Heritage Council at 502-564-7005, ext. 120, or visit www.heritage.ky.gov.
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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 prehistoric resources and 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. www.heritage.ky.gov
Nominations approved at the May 17 meeting:
William Bybee House, 3297 North Jackson Highway, Glasgow – This brick I-house was built circa 1855 in the vernacular Classical Revival style on 156 acres west of the then-newly constructed Louisville Turnpike. A one-story addition with similar brickwork and fenestration includes a dining room and kitchen. After 1900, a shallow two-story frame addition allowed for indoor bathrooms and other interior changes. Originally part of a much larger farm with multiple outbuildings, the house now sits on 4.3 acres next to a golf course. According to the nomination, the Bybee House is significant on a local level and meets National Register Criterion C, property that embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction, because it retains distinctive characteristics of the Classical style, sometimes referred to as Roman Revival, popularized during the American neoclassical movement. Its significance is interpreted within the historic context “Antebellum Architecture in Barren County, Kentucky” and illustrates the lasting influence of Virginia architecture on middle- to upper-class landholders who wanted to display their status in the ways they developed the Kentucky landscape.
“Raccoon” John Smith House, 250 West Main Street, Owingsville – Constructed in 1839, this brick, high-style Greek Revival house is being nominated for its association with “Raccoon” John Smith, for whom the house was built. He and his wife, Nancy, lived here for nine years after its construction. Substantial additions to the house were made by subsequent owners in 1898-1900 and in 1940-41. To the author’s knowledge, it is the only Greek Revival-style in Kentucky gable-fronted without a pediment. The house is being nominated for its architectural values and its important associations with state and national religious history. According to the author, it meets Criterion A, property associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history, and it is nominated within the context “Frontier Religion in Kentucky, 1800-1860.” Smith’s work during the Restoration Movement was an ongoing crusade of preaching during the 1830s, which sought to resolve religious disputes that had arisen in Kentucky.
C & O Railway Depot, intersection of Division (26th) and Panola streets, Catlettsburg – Executed in the Prairie School style with stone foundation and yellow brick, the Catlettsburg Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Depot was constructed between 1897 and 1900 and sits four blocks west of the mouth of the Big Sandy River, where it joins the Ohio River. According to the nomination, the depot meets National Register Criterion C and is significant in the area of architecture within the historic context “Development of the C & O Railroad in East Kentucky, 1870-1940.” The author writes, “One feature of Prairie School residential design which translated well to the railroad depot function is broad overhanging eaves... Those writing about architectural aesthetics cite the style’s wide eaves, as well as the association between style and a sense of home, as giving railroad depots a welcoming or embracing feel, a feeling which people in transit would long for. These positive associations with the style made the design very popular for depots constructed in the early 20th century.” In recent years the depot has served as a civic center and local historical and railroad museum.
Spindletop Farm, Ironworks Pike, Lexington vicinity – Spindletop Hall was constructed in the Georgian Revival style from 1935-37 for Pansy Yount of Beaumont, Texas, becoming the seat of the 1,066-acre Spindletop Farm. The house has 40 rooms and more than 45,000 square feet. This nomination proposes listing 30 acres of the site, including the main house, garage, pool house, stable, aviaries, kennels and the remains of a Japanese garden, all enclosed by an eight-foot security fence constructed for Yount in 1938. Named for the oil-producing area in Texas that generated the fortune which made it possible, Spindletop Farm represented the attainment of a goal set by Yount and her late husband, Miles Frank Yount, to develop the best saddlebred training facility in the country. The farm quickly became successful and remained so until becoming the property of the University of Kentucky in 1959. According to the nomination, the farm meets National Register Criterion A, significant for its association with and influence on the breeding and competition of the American saddle horse during the mid-20th century.
Springview Farm, 3076 Royster Road, Lexington vicinity – Located approximately seven miles east of Lexington, the area of Springview Farm proposed for listing comprises 317 acres with 12 contributing features. According to the author, the original owner of the land was Elijah Craig, a prominent settler and Baptist minister who has been credited with inventing Bourbon whiskey. Two features contribute greatly to the farm’s historic identity – the main residence, a log house likely built by John Darnaby, the original settler and farm owner, and a modest two-story brick structure constructed during the Antebellum period. Four of the farm’s barns were built after the turn of the 20th century and were capable of housing tobacco while accommodating livestock. Adjacent to the main residence is a substantial milking barn, and a utility outbuilding located to the rear was used for domestic chores and storage. Field patterns visible today show the long occupation of the property and its continual use as a farm. According to the author, the farm meets Criterion A and is significant within the context “Agriculture in Fayette County, Kentucky, 1790s-1960s.”
Jefferson Jacob School, 6517 Jacob School Road, Prospect – Jefferson Jacob School is a two-story frame building located in a rural area, constructed in 1918 as part of Julius Rosenwald’s rural African American school building program. The school shares the original plot with another small building constructed in 1919 as a kitchenette. Today they are surrounded by a residential neighborhood. According to the author, the school most likely originally had painted wood siding, the most common siding material used for Rosenwald schools, which has either been replaced or covered with white vinyl siding. The roof is a shingled side gable with a decorative front gable facing the street and a red brick chimney in the center. According to the nomination, Jefferson Jacob School meets National Register Criterion A, significant within the context “Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1916-1964.” The building functioned successfully as an African American school built by community funds, with assistance from the Rosenwald Fund, and later served as an important community center and meeting place for Prospect Masonic Lodge #109.
Lustron House, 7238 Southside Drive, Louisville – Assembled in 1950, this Lustron House is one of only 15 homes produced by the Lustron Corporation known to have been erected in the Louisville metropolitan area between 1946 and 1950. Lustrons were a non-traditional response to the post-World War II housing crisis. This example is a one-story, two-bedroom Westchester model with approximately 948 square feet of living space. The exterior is constructed with 2-foot-by-2-foot porcelain enameled steel panels in the color “desert tan.” The house sits on a concrete foundation and is capped with a gabled roof made of flat rolled carbon steel panels. According to the author, the house is significant in the area of architecture and is a good representative of the mass-produced, prefabricated Lustron designed for cost and efficiency in response to the post-World War II housing crisis. It is being nominated under Criterion C because it has maintained its historic integrity – including original materials – and it is easily recognizable as a Lustron.
Jefferson Street-Fountain Avenue Historic District (boundary increase), Paducah – The original Jefferson Street-Fountain Avenue Residential District was listed in the National Register in 1982 under Criterion C for its significance in the area of architecture, including approximately 35 blocks in central Paducah and 253 properties –225 contributing buildings, 11 non-contributing buildings, and 17 vacant lots. This nomination proposes to expand the existing district boundary to include a more comprehensive collection of residential forms serving working and middle-class residents, resulting from Paducah’s development patterns associated with transportation and industrial expansion. The proposed new district is evaluated according to the terms of Criterion A, for its significance in the area of community planning and development, and 179 individual resources – including 105 contributing single-family homes, 10 multi-family homes, one religious facility and one commercial building. The property is being interpreted under National Register Criterion A, locally significant within the historic context “Residential Subdivision Development in Paducah, Kentucky, 1871-1962.”