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Genealogy Society honored for project assistance

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Commercial Historic District expands

By Celia McDonald

­­­Hodgenville Main Street/Renaissance and the City of Hodgenville announced the expansion of the Hodgenville Commercial Historic District at a luncheon last week. Final approval for the expansion was received in January from the National Park Service. It had been approved earlier by the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board.

The amount of increase in property included in the Hodgenville Commercial Historic District is unusual, according to Mark Dennen, State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director of the Kentucky Heritage Council. Dennen was guest speaker at the luncheon.

“You have increased your district almost four times,” said Dennen. “Generally we see an increase that adds a building, or several buildings or, perhaps doubles the size of a district. This increase adds 33 properties to the 11 already listed and the period of significance for the district is from 1877 through 1960.” You will see conflicting numbers of properties because of the different ways they were counted within the survey.

Dennen, who was accompanied by state Main Street Coordinator Becky Gorman at the luncheon, told the crowd of 60 gathered in the Museum Community Room to recognize this milestone that most historic downtowns across Kentucky have a National Register District. “In most cases, these towns need to do exactly what Hodgenville has completed,” he said.

Dennen said a National Register Listing is an honor for property owners; the contributing buildings become eligible for both state and federal historic tax credits; and contributing buildings have some protections from projects that involve federal funding or licensing. If such a project poses an adverse effect to a listed building there is a process that must be undertaken to try to minimize the impact.

The listing imposes no restrictions on property owners.

The application for this boundary increase was helped with a sub-grant of $14,583 from Preserve America sponsored by the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Rural Heritage Development Initiative.

Mayor Terry Cruse and Hodgenville Main Street President Larry Davis presented a plaque to representatives of the LaRue County Genealogy Society who joined with Main Street volunteers to provide many hours of research, resulting in $3,000 matching dollars required by the grant. Other matching was provided by Main Street, the Lincoln Museum and the Chamber of Commerce.

The research provided by consultant Donna Logsdon and the volunteers will remain on record at the Kentucky Historical Society, the National Park Service and the Main Street Office.

Property owners and renters of both contributing and non-contributing (not eligible for National Register status) buildings will be considered part of the district.

Everyone in the district will receive from Hodgenville Main Street a window decal saying they are part of the district.