Preservation Trailblazers Oct. 14 in Frankfort Pays Tribute  to National Historic Preservation Act 50th Anniversary

Preservation Trailblazers Oct. 14 in Frankfort Pays Tribute to National Historic Preservation Act 50th Anniversary

Bill Stephens

September 15th, 2016



FRANKFORT, Ky. – The public is invited to take part in a day-long celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) on Friday, Oct. 14 in downtown Frankfort.

Co-sponsored by KHC and Liberty Hall Historic Site (LHHS), special thanks goes to the Trailblazer Sponsor, the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation. The event is also presented in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society, Preservation Kentucky, Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation, Kentucky Main Street Program, Kentucky Division of Historic Properties, Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Louisville, The Kentucky Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, University of Kentucky College of Design Historic Preservation Program, Downtown Frankfort, Inc. Main Street, Franklin County Trust for Historic Preservation, Frankfort Transit and Frankfort Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites.

Concurrent sessions exploring Kentucky’s historic preservation legacy will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Orlando Brown House at LHHS and the Old State Capitol, both National Historic Landmarks. The main event, “Preservation Trailblazers,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the historic Grand Theatre and feature an interactive conversation among some of the leaders of Kentucky’s historic preservation movement over five decades. Other highlights include a keynote lunch and closing celebration on the grounds of Liberty Hall.

The Preservation Trailblazers panel will include David Morgan, retired long-time state historic preservation officer; Steve Collins, KHC chair; Dick DeCamp, first executive director of the Blue Grass Trust and head of Lexington’s first historic commission; Betty Dobson, grassroots preservationist whose efforts helped save Paducah’s Hotel Metropolitan; Keith Runyon with Preservation Louisville, co-chair of the Louisville Historic Preservation Advisory Task Force; Jim Thomas, long-time executive director of Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill; Barbara Hulette of Danville, a tireless advocate and fundraiser; Alicestyne Turley, director of the Carter G. Woodson Center and Assistant Professor of African and African American studies at Berea College; David Cartmell, Maysville mayor; Nash Cox of Frankfort, local historian and past president of LHHS; Dr. John Kleber, historian and editor of the “Kentucky Encyclopedia,” among others; and Patrick Snadon, associate professor of architecture and interior design at the University of Cincinnati and co-author of “The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe.”

In tribute to the signing of the NHPA by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966, early online registration through Sept. 30 is $66 and includes a continental breakfast, box lunch and closing celebration. Registration after this date is $85, and a ticket for Preservation Trailblazers and the closing celebration only is $25.

Register at and see a complete schedule of events at

“One can’t truly understand the history of historic preservation in Kentucky without a healthy understanding of the NHPA and its positive influence,” said Craig Potts, KHC executive director and state historic preservation officer. “This event will reflect on 50 years of successes, losses and milestones, and will take stock of the tremendous effort put forth by professionals, volunteers, advocates, leaders and regular citizens to preserve Kentucky’s irreplaceable cultural heritage.

“This is a great time to consider the Section 106 provision’s influence on federal projects throughout the state, the archaeological legacy of Red River Gorge, the breadth of historic sites documented through historic buildings survey and the National Register, the tremendous economic impact of the Kentucky Main Street Program, and the legacy of communities that have made preservation a priority through Certified Local Government designation,” he added.

LHHS Executive Director Julienne Foster said their organization is proud to host and administer the 50th anniversary event. LHHS was the first historic house museum in Kentucky to benefit from the NHPA through a large-scale archaeological investigation, and sessions will focus on that as well as the economic benefits of rural preservation and Kentucky women in house preservation.

“Liberty Hall was arguably ground zero for women at the forefront of the preservation movement in Kentucky,” Foster said. “Many women who worked to preserve LHHS also worked to preserve other important sites across the state. This seminar will recognize their legacy and inspire participants to blaze their own trails.”

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