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Preserve America

La Grange, Carrollton among
Kentucky cities named to
prestigious list of historic places

Staff Report

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 2004) – First Lady Laura Bush on April 20 designated 31 Kentucky cities and towns, including as the nation's newest Preserve America communities, the largest and most unique group honored to date since the first eight community designations were made Jan. 15.
Included among the list were La Grange, Carrollton, Shelbyville and Anchorage in North Central Kentucky.

Laura Bush, Carter, Lammlein

Photo provided

From left, First Lady Laura Bush
with La Grange Mayor Elsie Carter
and Bill Lammlein, president of
Crossroads-La Grange Main Street board.

"Preserve America communities demonstrate that they are committed to preserving America's heritage while ensuring a future filled with opportunities for learning and enjoyment," Mrs. Bush said. The designation, combined with federal support, "provides strong incentives for continued preservation of our cultural and natural heritage resources," she said.
Joining Mrs. Bush in the designation event in Louisville were Lynn Scarlett, assistant secretary for policy, management and budget, U.S. Department of the Interior; and John L. Nau III, chairman of the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Along with Versailles, Ky., which made the January list, Kentucky now has 32 of the nation's 65 communities in Preserve America. Applications are still being accepted to add more.
Kentucky's strong showing was the result of early recognition of the value of the Preserve America initiative to heritage tourism for the state and its communitites, according to State Historic Preservation officer David Morgan, whose office spearheaded the application effort.
Officials from the communities received certificates of designation signed by Mrs. Bush.
"We are extremely proud of our placement on this list, along with some of the country's top cities and towns that represent our nation's history," said Bill Lammlein, president of Crossroads-La grange Main Street Inc.
With a population of 5,676, La grange was recognized for its disctinction of being one of the few cities in the nation where trains still run down the center of Main Street. Designed in 1827, the city saw limited growth until the railroad arrived in the late 1850s. The downtown historic district, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, has an unusually large number of commercial buildings that are virtually intact, retaining all or major parts of their original storefronts.
The Oldham County History Center is an important museum of local history, and the city is helping the Oldham County Historical Society obtain money to expand the center through rehabilitation and adaptive use of an 1880 Presbyterian Church. La Grange has also received funds to renovate a building in the historic district as a tourism information center and transportation museum.
With a population of 3,846, Carrollton is situated at the confluence of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers in north central Kentucky and has been a thriving community since the late 18th century when it was incorporated as the town of Port William and designated as the county seat of Gallatin County.
In 1838, its name was changed and it became county seat of the newly formed Carroll County. Two historic properties that are interpreted for the public-the Masterson House and the Butler-Turpin House-reflect different eras in the community's growth and are hubs for heritage celebrations. The Masterson House (1790) is believed to be the oldest two-story, solid-masonry home on the Ohio River between Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Demonstrations of historic trades and crafts are held at the house on Heritage Saturdays during the year. Heritage music events are held at the Butler-Turpin House (1859), a museum of antebellum farm life. The city has been giving Carrollton's historic downtown district, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, a "facelift" through new sidewalks, streetlights, and landscaping, and through programs to assist businesses in improving their properties. Carrollton's Enterprise Incentive Program provides funds to help property owners with exterior painting, signs, and awnings.
Preserve America is a new White House initiative to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of America's priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include: a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets; and support for the economic vitality of our communities.
Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their efforts. Other benefits include appropriate use of the Preserve America logo on signs and promotional materials; notification to media, State tourism offices, and visitor bureaus; and listing on a Web-based directory to showcase preservation efforts and highlight heritage tourism destinations.
The Bush Administration's fiscal year 2005 budget contains a request for $10 million in grant funds for which communities meeting the Preserve America criteria will be eligible to apply. These matching fund grants of $50,000 to $250,000 would go on a competitive basis to projects that preserve and use important historic resources for promotion of heritage tourism and other economic revitalization projects.

For more information, visit: www.preserveamerica.gov.

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