Licking Riverside Named Among Ten Great Neighborhoods in America

Covington's Licking Riverside Historic District was named among 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2013 by the American Planning Association (APA).

The honor will be celebrated in the neighborhood on Sunday, October 13.

Each year the APA's Great Places in America program honors thirty neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces to highlight the role that planning and planners play in adding value to communities.

APA singled out Licking Riverside for its outstanding nineteenth century architecture, collaborative efforts by residents and local planners, and for its scenic river and city views.

“Having our Historic Licking Riverside neighborhood designated as one of APA’s Top 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2013 validates our past and on-going efforts for historic preservation, for urban forestry as it relates to livable communities, and for improving ‘quality of place’ in our other neighborhoods that may not be blessed with the special attributes of Historic Licking Riverside,” said Covington Mayor Sherry Carran.

“Besides good bones this neighborhood has had strong leadership in advocating for stewardship of historic and cultural resources, which is making a difference for Covington as a whole," the mayor said.

“Licking Riverside is an historic gem, endowed with a century of American architecture from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and unbeatable views of the Roebling Suspension Bridge and Cincinnati skyline,” said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer. “What has kept intensive, riverside development out has been perseverance by residents, and later measures by the city, that ensure the neighborhood’s historic character is not altered.”

The neighborhood is a highlight of any Covington tour where visitors can check out the unique architecture of some of the first and oldest homes in the city, including some that were part of the Underground Railroad during slavery and others that made up the city's original business district.

The architecture is evidence of every major American style from 1815 to 1920. 

The neighborhood was nearly leveled, at least in part, in the late 1960s when a proposal emerged to replace some of this historic buildings with new commercial developments. Residents banded together to keep the neighborhood whole with the support of the Northern Kentucky Heritage League and the City of Covington which enacted ordinances in 1988 to protect the historic neighborhood.

The nine other APA 2013 Great Neighborhoods are: Chinatown, San Francisco, CA; Downtown Norwich, CT; Downtown Decatur, Decatur, GA; Central Street Neighborhood, Evanston, IL; Downtown Mason City, Mason City, IA; Kenwood, Minneapolis, MN; Beaufort Historic District, Beaufort, SC; West Freemason, Norfolk, VA; and Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood, Madison, WI.           

Previous winners in Kentucky include West Main Street in Louisville and Fountain Square in Bowling Green. Cincinnati's Hyde Park and Mariemont are both previous winners.

About Licking Riverside

The neighborhood is bounded by the Ohio River to the north, Licking River to the east, Greenup Street to the west, and 8th Street to the south.

TheHistoric Licking Riverside Neighborhood has kept much of its original character. 

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A strong neighborhood organization sprouted and has remained vigilant in protecting its history. 

The Thomas Carneal House, the first brick house in Covington, was built in 1815 complete with a tunnel leading to the Licking River. On the west boundary sits Roebling Point, Covington’s original business district. 

The district’s north and east boundaries are defined by the Ohio and Licking Rivers. 

City of Covington to Celebrate Award

The City of Covington will host a celebration and award presentation of the APA honor.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, October 13 at 2 p.m. in George Rogers Clark Park.

There will be "autumn refreshments", according to a news release.

Walking tours led by Historic Preservation Officer Beth Johnson will also be made.

(Rain Location is at Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center located at 620 Greenup Street, Covington KY, 41011. Parking is available in their parking lot located off of 7th Street.)

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Photos: Homes in Licking Riverside/RCN file