6 Sites Recommended for the National Register (part 1)

Marianne Theatre (Bellevue), Lynn Acres Apartments (Louisville); and the
Charles Young Center (Lexington). Images from respective NRHP Applications.
Last week, the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board approved six sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, nominations which will now be forwarded to the National Park Service (NPS) for final determination of eligibility. A decision on designation will be rendered within 60 to 90 days.

The sites were:

  • Marianne Theater in Campbell County; 
  • Charles Young Park and Community Center in Fayette County; 
  • Lynn Acres Apartments in Jefferson County;
  • Louisville, Gas & Electric Co. Service Station Complex in Jefferson County; 
  • Hellman Lumber and Manufacturing Co. in Kenton County; and 
  • Elkhorn City Elementary and High Schools in Pike County. 

A summary about the first three is included below and the final three will be covered in a post tomorrow. But first a little bit about the National Register and the process for getting a property listed:

The National Register

Owners of National Register properties may qualify for state and/or federal tax credits for rehabilitation of these properties to standards set forth by the Secretary of the Interior, as certified by the Kentucky Heritage Council, or by making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement. National Register status does not affect property ownership rights, but does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects.

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 among states, at more than 3,300. 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.

And now for the properties …

Marianne Theatre

Marianne Theatre Marquee. NRHP Application.

This Bellevue, Kentucky, theatre was designed by Registered Architect Paul B. Kiel in 1941 in the Art Deco and Moderne Style. It was built by owner-manager Peter L. Smith in 1942 in the center of the 600 block of Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, Kentucky. Already on the National Register as part of the Fairfield Avenue Historic District, the property is being indvididually listed to draw additional attention to it.

There once were over 60 neighborhood theaters in northern Kentucky and the Marianne was one of the finest.

Charles Young Park and Community Center

Charles Young Center. NRHP Application.

Across the street from Lexington’s Isaac Murphy Memorial Garden stands the Charles Young Park and Community Center. This part of Lexington’s East End is undergoing a renaissance and the Charles Young facilities stand to be a landmark in this change.

The park has been owned by the city since 1930 and the one-story brick veneered side-gable community center is an icon of Third Street. During Jim Crow-era Kentucky, segregation dictated separate community facilities for blacks. According to the nomination, the “Charles Young Park provides an important physical and spatial indication of the existence of the East End community, and the importance that a public place holds for any community— for recreation and civic gathering.”

Lynn Acres Garden Apartments

Circa 1950 Aerial of Lynn Acres. NRHP Application.

The 66 two-story apartment buildings in Louisville’s southside were constructed between 1947 and 1950. The complex includes a variety of 12-, 8-, and 4-plex units with greenspace behind each structure intended for children’s play but which is now used by many residents for gardening.

The brick construction and side-gabled roofs had architectural attention in their design – a rarity in today’s residential apartment design. But perhaps the layout of the buildings deserves the most attention as the green space between them and the connected streets are key to good community design.

The other 3 sites nominated by the Heritage Council will be discussed tomorrow on the Kaintuckeean.