KY Heritage Council Day at the Capitol Jan. 13 will highlight the agency’s 50th anniversary, statewide economic impact of preserving historic resources

FRANKFORT, Ky. – 2016 will be a big year in Kentucky as celebrations commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), establishment of the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC), and the economic and social impact historic preservation programs and policies have contributed over five decades. An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, KHC is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth.

A kickoff event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13 when the agency will sponsor Kentucky Heritage Council Day at the Capitol. KHC staff will be on hand in the Rotunda to answer questions about Kentucky’s architectural heritage, state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, the National Register of Historic Places, historic sites survey, archaeological research, and Native American and African American heritage resources.

Representatives of Kentucky Main Street Programs (KYMS) from across the state will also be set up on the 2nd floor of the Capitol with information about their communities and the economic return on investment that participation in this program has generated. In 2015, a cumulative total of $72 million – private investment of $42 million, paired with $30 million of public improvements – was reported by 44 participating communities.

Created in 1979, Kentucky Main Street is one of KHC’s flagship programs and the oldest statewide Main Street revitalization program in the nation. Based on a Four-Point Approach® developed by the National Main Street Center, KYMS works to support downtown commercial district economic development within the context of preserving historic buildings. Over three decades, $3.9 billion in public-private investment has been generated throughout the state by KYMS communities.

“Over the last five decades, the Kentucky Heritage Council has proudly partnered with citizens, advocacy groups and government entities to document, promote and protect the unique heritage conveyed by Kentucky’s historic resources,” said Craig Potts, KHC executive director and state historic preservation officer. “Through our presence in the Capitol, including a special long-term exhibit developed to highlight our diverse programming, we hope to communicate the value of Kentucky’s historic places, not only as significant economic and educational assets, but as important components of our collective identity as Kentuckians.”

Kentucky Heritage Council Day at the Capitol is taking place in conjunction with the Kentucky Main Street Winter Conference, planned Tuesday through Thursday at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet building on Mero Street with the theme “Creating Healthy Downtown Communities.” Speakers and presentations will focus on how good community design and preserving traditional historic neighborhoods promotes both good physical health – encouraging walkability, social interaction and concern for neighbors – and a healthy bottom line, through economic policies that support local investment, business development and heritage tourism.

Passed in 1966, the National Historic Preservation Act was landmark legislation that came about as a response to destructive urban “renewal” policies and the widespread construction of interstate highways cutting swaths through the American landscape. The NHPA established a leadership role for the federal government to protect and preserve our nation’s historic buildings and paved the way for the establishment of state historic preservation offices, including KHC.

For more about upcoming 50th anniversary events, visit or follow KHC on Facebook and Twitter.

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