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.
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
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
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
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.