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Eight NKY Sites on State Historic Preservation Tour

A new statewide heritage tourism program is underway and four Northern Kentucky counties are part of it.

Kentucky has more sites on the National Register of Historic Places than forty-six other states. To raise awareness, Preservation Kentucky launched Tour120, which references the state's 120 counties and which launches this weekend.

May is National Historic Preservation Month.

The program includes tours of historic residential, commercial, and public buildings. 

The program's website features a page on each historic property featured.

“Tour120 compliments Louisville Water’s 159-year history,” said Kelley Dearing-Smith, vice president for communications and marketing at Louisville Water, a sponsor of the tour. “Since Louisville Water began in 1860, we’ve blended form and function. Our facilities not only produce some of the highest-quality drinking water in the United States, they’re also community landmarks.”

“For more that 75 years, JRA Architects has endeavored to bring awareness to thought-provoking architecture and the history of the towns and cities in which we work,” said Tim Graviss, AIA, JRA Architects, another sponsor. “This partnership with Preservation Kentucky and the Louisville Water Company allows us to share the talents of the local and regional owners, preservationist and craftsmen with our communities.”

"The main roads and backroads of the Commonwealth are filled with architectural treasures and interesting stories that attract history buffs and heritage tourism travelers seeking authentic experiences, unique surroundings and a genuine aesthetic special to each location.  Our long-term goal for Tour120 is to have permanent members in all 120 counties," said Betsy Hatfield, Preservation Kentucky executive director. "Tour120.org will be the go-to site for people who love historic buildings and Kentucky history."

Nineteen Kentucky counties are participating in the first Tour120 and some will highlight sites not typically open to the public. Louisville Water Company will open its 1879 Gothic Revival Gatehouse at the Crescent Hill Reservoir for a special tour. 

In Northern Kentucky, visitors can see:

Kenton County: Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center and Porter Fallis House (pictured above).

Campbell County: Newport History Museum @ Southgate School, East Row Stained Glass Walking Tour, and General James Taylor Mansion.

Gallatin County: Hawkins Kirby House

Grant County: William Arnold Long Home and Historic Sherman Tavern

“Preservation Kentucky has been a great partner to our Cabinet, and we are excited to join them in building momentum for Tour120,” said Regina Stivers, Deputy Secretary of the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet.  “Whether you are in a big city or a small town, Kentucky has an abundance of unique and beautiful places to help illustrate our rich history. It is important to preserve these structures so that they remain destinations for generations to come.”

“We are delighted to work with Preservation Kentucky to further promote heritage tourism in the state through the Tour120 program,” said Kristen Branscum, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism. “Our historic buildings across the Commonwealth play a significant role in telling Kentucky’s story; they are landmarks that have helped shape our communities for generations.”

"Kentucky's architectural heritage is just as rich as that of Charleston or Savannah, among others,” said Grady Walter, Preservation Kentucky Board Chair.  “Here, it's more difficult to promote because it is spread across the Commonwealth.  We want people to take notice of what we offer."

-Staff report

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