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Bellevue, Covington Locations Added to National Register of Historic Places

Two Northern Kentucky spots have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office confirmed that the Secretary of the Interior added Bellevue's Marianne Theater and Covington's Hellman Lumber Building to the Register.

The Marianne Theater was purchased last year by the City of Bellevue and has since seen a lot of interest in its forthcoming redevelopment and last week was the site of a scene in a Hollywood film being shot in and around Cincinnati. The Hellmann Lumber Building was purchased by the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington and is the target of a $1.45 million grant as well as the recipient of money from the Duke Energy Foundation.

PHOTOS: See inside the Marianne Theater

PHOTOS: See inside the Hellman Lumber Building

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 archeological 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 archeological sites, and proposed sites must be significant in architecture, engineering, American history or culture.

Here is how the sites are described by the Commonwealth of Kentucky which approved the Register nomination late last year:

Campbell County

Marianne Theater, 609 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue; authored by David Killen, Northern Kentucky University graduate student. Designed by architect Paul B. Kiel in 1941 and built in 1942 by owner-manager Peter L. Smith, the Marianne Theater is a colorful structure located in the center of a city block. The theater’s design draws upon motifs from Art Deco and Moderne styles, featuring symmetrical design, glazed and colored tile, contrasts between horizontal and vertical elements, and geometrical shapes. The front facade is divided into three bays – a prominent entry bay flanked by a wing on each side. According to the author, “Considered Ultra Modern in comparison to other neighboring theaters, the Marianne was a social destination for the residents of Bellevue. The neighborhood theater became a significant place in which Americans participated in cultural entertainments and forged their cultural values… [It] remains remarkably intact from its time of construction.” It was nominated under Criterion C, property that embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction. Its significance was evaluated within the context “Neighborhood Theaters in Northern Kentucky, 1929-1965.” The theater was recently purchased by the city, which is conducting public meetings to determine a new use.

Kenton County

Hellmann Lumber and Manufacturing Co., 321 W. 12th St., Covington; authored by Beth Johnson, preservation and planning specialist for the city of Covington. Constructed between 1886 and 1894, the Hellman Lumber and Manufacturing Co. building occupies roughly a half a city block. It is associated with one of Covington’s oldest businesses and with the lumberyard industry, and played an important role in the construction of many of Covington’s substantial buildings. This structure is an intact, two-story, two-bay, side-gabled brick warehouse-style corner commercial building, approximately 14,000-16,000 square feet. The original foundation is wet-masonry limestone, and building characteristics include tall, narrow windows, doors topped by segmented arches, oversized doors, vertical divided windows, hand-painted signs and loading dock openings, in three distinct sections. According to the author, “As lumber yards changed and increased their inventory, altered the way they milled, and evolved in how they served their customers, the buildings would be tailored to those changes. The business adapted the building so that the Hellmanns could satisfy their customers’ desires.… The building retains much of its original architecture and exposed interior support system, giving the property the ability to inform us about this type of important business to the building trades.” It is being nominated under Criterion A, significant within the context “Lumberyards in Covington, 1880-1960.”