Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office
Kentucky Main Street Program communities announce Downtown Living Tours in May, June
Public invited to discover downtown living in communities across the state
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Depending on the size of your community, you may not consider your local downtown to be a prime residential neighborhood. However, historically and even today, Kentucky’s central business districts in communities of all sizes provide for both rental and owner-occupied homes which are often highly sought after. To highlight this variety of housing options, a series of Downtown Living Tours is being offered this spring and summer in communities across the state that participate in the Kentucky Main Street Program, administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office. The tours are free; a full schedule of dates and times follows.
The tours highlight the 2008 Kentucky Main Street Program’s training focus on downtown living, which was undertaken to challenge local Main Street programs to assess whether their downtown design is meeting community needs and encourage them to create a local climate conducive to attracting residents.
Data shows that downtown housing plays a significant role in establishing an active, 24-hour downtown, reinforcing revitalization goals. Typically, these are unique spaces located in historic buildings in prime locations with established infrastructure, high visibility and great potential for reuse. When these downtown spaces are underutilized, the result is a missed opportunity for communities seeking to restore the economic health of their central business core.
"Kentuckians are finding that living close to restaurants, shops and businesses brings a new energy and quality of life to downtown. Downtowns are the heartbeat of our communities, and their economic health and vibrancy benefits all Kentuckians," said Donna M. Neary, Heritage Council executive director and state historic preservation officer. "We invite everyone to take part in a downtown tour in your community, or check the schedule and see what other communities across the state have to offer."
From data gathered through a baseline survey developed by the Kentucky Main Street Program and completed by local programs, the Kentucky Heritage Council discovered that the average downtown in Kentucky has 65 residential units with 22 of these being in upper stories. More than 75% of these upper story units are located in historic buildings. The average property value for owner-occupied residential units in Kentucky downtowns is just over $80,000, with an average of 1,900 square feet. The average monthly rental for a downtown apartment is $425, with an average of 1,040 square feet.
The Kentucky Main Street Program is the oldest statewide downtown revitalization organization in the nation, whose goal in partnership with Renaissance on Main is to encourage downtown revitalization, public-private partnerships and economic development within the context of historic preservation. Renaissance on Main is administered by the Governor’s Office of Local Development (or GOLD), which provides grant opportunities for certified programs. Currently nearly 100 communities are served.
As required for involvement in the statewide program, each year local Main Street organizations focus their goals and objectives on the four points of the National Trust for Historic Preservation / National Main Street Center Approach to Downtown Revitalization – organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.
Following is the complete schedule of Downtown Living Tours. For more information and updates, statistics from the downtown living survey or more about any of these Main Street communities, visit the Kentucky Heritage Council Web site, www.heritage.ky.gov
SCHEDULE – Kentucky Main Street Program Downtown Living Tours
Wednesday, May 7 – Paintsville, 1 – 3 p.m.
Contact Elizabeth Powell to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-573-7698
Saturday, May 10 – Corbin, 2 – 4 p.m.
Contact Sharae Myers to register at email@example.com or 606-258-8125
Wednesday, May 14 – Mayfield and Paducah, Noon
Participants will tour several sites in Mayfield then travel to Paducah for a tour of upper floors. Contact Deana Wright to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-759-9474
Saturday, May 17 – Murray, Noon
Meet at the historic downtown post office on the square. Contact Deana Wright to register at email@example.com or 270-759-9474
Friday, May 22 – Cadiz, 10:00 a.m.
Meet at City Hall. Contact Deana Wright to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-759-9474
Thursday, May 29 – Wilmore, 9 – 11 a.m. then on to Stanford, 1 – 3 p.m.
Contact Missy Shutts to register at email@example.com or 606-464-5007
Friday, May 30 – Hopkinsville, 10 a.m.
Meet in Founder’s Square for a tour of four downtown apartments. Lunch on your own and then on to Elkton, Guthrie and Trent, ending at 3 p.m. Contact Deana Wright to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-759-9474
Friday, May 30 – Augusta, 10 a.m.; Maysville, Noon; and Flemingsburg, 2 p.m.
Contact Duff Giffen to register at email@example.com or 606-564-9419
Friday, June 13 – Danville, 10 a.m.
This tour during the Brass Band Festival will include six sites. Contact Dana Beth Lyddan to register firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-737-4126
Thursday, June 19 – London, 6 – 8 p.m.
Housing tour and summer concert. Contact Sherri Mosley to register at email@example.com or 606-862-8841
Friday, June 20 – Princeton, Noon – 4 p.m.
Tour three potential upper floor areas with one already completed apartment and discuss the Let’s Paint the Town! efforts. Contact Sam Koltinsky to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-365-9575
Saturday, June 21 – Ashland, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tour upper floor housing and housing adjacent to downtown. Contact Danny Craig to register at email@example.com or 606-325-7692
Saturday, June 21 – Henderson, Noon - 4 p.m.
Plans are being finalized.
Sunday, June 22 – Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton
Contact Kathy Hickey to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-292-2166
Tuesday, June 24 – Shelbyville, 5 – 7 p.m.
Contact Eilene Collins to register at Eilene.Collins@shelbydevcorp.com or 502-633-5029
Owingsville, Scottsville region and Winchester region – plans being finalized.
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An agency of the Kentucky Commerce 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. www.heritage.ky.gov