EMINENCE, Ky. (February 2004) For Katie Crotzer, restoring
old buildings is like putting together puzzle pieces. Once completed,
she literally has a picture of the past.
Six months ago, Crotzer and her husband, William, purchased the Old
Farmers Deposit Bank building in Eminence, located at 4888 N. Main
St. next to Browning Chevrolet. Together, they operate Crotzer Investment
Co., with offices in Shelbyville, Ky.
by Helen McKinney
facade grant will help revive this building.
Crotzer said she hopes to transform the building into a drawing
card for the city. The building was once flanked by three other
historical structures. These buildings were demolished in 1992.
The city had originally looked at purchasing and renovating
the building, said Eminence Mayor Doug Bates. Deciding against
this, city officials contacted the Crotzers and asked them to consider
tackling this project. The couple was unsure of the task until they
learned that Renaissance Kentucky Program funding was available from
Funding came in the form of a $10,000 facade grant, which was awarded
through the Renaissance Kentucky Program. This is a partial grant,
said Crotzer, to assist in exterior work costs. Only privately owned
buildings are eligible to receive a facade grant. Such a grant assists
in paying for restoring and or renovating building fronts facing public
The grant is a 50-50 match, and any amount above that will have to
be paid by Crotzer, said Eminence Main Street Manager Mary Jane Yates.
While the goal is to beautify and ensure the longevity of the community,
Crotzer said she would easily spend more than $100,000 on renovation
Crotzer had to first submit a Facade Grant Application Form, accompanied
by proper documentation. Various other materials submitted might include
historical photographs, a cost estimate, contractor information, photographs
of the site and a copy of the current deed or platt of survey. Crotzer
will be re-imbursed through the Renaissance Kentucky Program as the
project progresses. She is not eligible for any other grant monies.
Eminence was designated a Silver Renaissance City in 2001, a status
that enables the city to apply for federal dollars to aid in revitalization
efforts in small downtown areas. The city then applied for inclusion
in the Main Street program, hiring Yates as Main Street Manager in
Eminence has since developed a master plan that includes different
phases of work to be spread out over several years. Positive economic
development, such as the renovation plans Crotzer has proposed, will
possibly lure more industry and jobs into the area. Crotzer has decided
to invest her time and money into the city, confident that she can
contribute to the beautification process.
Crotzer said she was chosen because the city of Eminence knew about
her work on historical structures.
Weve done a lot in Simpsonville, Shelbyville and Old Louisville,
The couple comes from a background in construction and became interested
in the restoration process when they decided to tackle a renovation
project of their own.
When it comes to actual renovation techniques, the grant money is
a guarantee that we (will) follow historical guidelines,
said Crotzer. Guidelines provide recommended approaches, treatments
and techniques that will aid in preserving existing structures and
keep them in harmony with the character of the community.
As an example, Crotzer said no modern building materials, such as
vinyl siding, may be used on the building. The couple must stay within
historical colors in redesigning the building and re-use as much of
the existing structure as possible. A facade grant cannot be applied
for to cover the cost of previously completed work.
Crotzer labeled renovation efforts a slow process. In the last five
months, copper coating has been placed on the roof, windows reglazed,
and plaster and carpentry work done, factors which all contribute
to the facade of the building.
While the facade grant has been an incentive for Crotzer, she must
pay for renovation efforts on the inside of the building herself.
New plumbing had to be installed, as well as electricity, heating
and air. The building has been vacant for the last decade.
Built in 1898 as the Deposit Bank of Eminence, it consolidated in
1930 with the Farmers and Drovers Bank. It operated as the Farmers
Deposit Bank until 1960, when this bank business moved a few blocks
away. Crotzer purchased the empty building from Jeff Browning six
months ago, with River City Bank in Louisville lending money for the
After this project is completed, Yates said Crotzer must retain ownership
of the property for a minimum of five years. Crotzer has a one-year
time limit to renovate the structure because funding came in the form
of cash money. Some facade grants are awarded in the form of bond
money, said Yates, and for that reason a different time limit may
Crotzer said she expects to have two residential units upstairs and
a commercial business downstairs. She said she hopes to attract a
restaurant and any other use for the building depends upon the
commercial needs in the area.
Bates said what she has proposed (will help) keep the building