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Newport Couple Wins Preservation Award for Work on Home

Preservation Kentucky presented its Preservation Leader Awards to eight organizations from virtually every corner of the state including a home in Newport.
Mike and Pam Staun of Newport were one of three winners in the David L. Morgan State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Award category. The couple report they originally had no intention of preserving the historic but deteriorated American Foursquare-style home they bought in the city.
They planned an extensive renovation that would entail replacing a leaking clay tile roof with conventional asphalt shingles, replacing all wood windows, removing plaster and floors to add insulation, putting a large addition and a porch on the rear of the home over the existing kitchen and modernizing the home throughout. Their plans met opposition, however, when Newport Preservation Officer Scot Clark denied their proposal to replace the tile roof.
While debating this with the city, the Stauns decided to look into the potential benefits of historic rehabilitation tax credits with the Kentucky Heritage Council. The couple say they were “surprised” to learn that “by utilizing the state and federal tax credits, they could spend less money, preserve more historic fabric of the building and still accomplish their goal of improving their home,” according to a Preservation Kentucky news release.
The Stauns discovered that replacement windows and wall insulation were expensive and wouldn’t give enough savings in energy costs to make them worth it. Instead, they repaired existing windows, added high-quality storm windows and heavily insulated the roof. The Heritage Council also suggested a high-efficiency furnace and leaving the plaster and lath walls in place.
Still intact in their home were trim, hardwood floors, period mantels and old-growth wood windows. After research, the couple discovered an almost identical floor plan in the 1908 Western Home Builder catalog. They “put immense amounts of thought into everything from rewiring light fixtures, from their alabaster bell lantern gasolier in the foyer to a period-appropriate kitchen,” according to the release.
They also scaled back the rear addition to a simple third-floor balcony barely visible across a neighbor’s backyard fence. They also had new gutters custom made to match the historic character and found fluted downspouts to match the existing ones.
The other recipients of the tax credit award were Dr. Mark T. Wright and wife Caryn Winter for their work at Somerset’s Beecher House Apartments and Natalie Wilkerson, Layne Wilkerson and Jim and Ellen Glasgow for Noonan’s Grocery in Frankfort.
The other awards and recipients included:
• The Linda Bruckheimer Excellence in Rural Preservation Award to Dr. James W. Middleton Jr. and wife, Dr. Lynn Salisbury Middleton, for restoration the Frances Asbury Smith McCandless House in Munfordville in Hart County;
• The Edith S. Bingham Excellence in Preservation Education Award to Living Archaeology Weekend in Morgantown in Powell County;
• The Christy and Owsley Brown Public Service to Preservation Award to Hickman County Judge Executive Gregory D. Pruitt in Clinton;
• The Barbara Hulette Young Preservationist Award for leaders under 40 to Megan Funk of Elizabethtown in Hardin County;
• The Ann Early Sutherland Green Preservation Award to Don Pelly of Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg in Mercer County;
• The Helen Dedman Preservation Advocate Award to architect Sarah House Tate of Lexington in Fayette County and to Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation representing the 15 counties of the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky;
• The Patrick Kennedy Preservation Craftsperson Award to Stuart F. Joynt IV of Lost Art Stone Masonry in Winchester in Clark County; and
• Special recognition for Leadership Excellence in Planning to Nancy Turner, the executive director of Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission, for her leadership and planning of Preservation Pedal 2014.
For more information, see
From Preservation Kentucky