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Rabbit Hash General Store, Hellmann Creative Center among recipients of Historic Preservation Awards

NKyTribune staff

Northern Kentucky projects are among those that will be recognized Tuesday at the annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards at Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort.

Undated photo of the Rabbit Hash General Store, courtesy of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society

The awards are presented by the foundation in partnership with the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC), this year with special thanks to Nana Lampton.

The Rabbit Hash General Store will receive a Preservation Project Award for the restoration of the iconic landmark that was almost completely destroyed in a fire in 2016.

The Hellmann Creative Center in Covington will also be recognized with a Preservation Project Award for the efforts of the Center for Great Neighborhoods to transform of a former lumber mill into a creative placemaking hub.

2017 Honorees

 The Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award is presented to the individual who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of historic preservation in the Commonwealth.

The 2017 recipient is Linda Bruckheimer of Bloomfield and Los Angeles, CA, who is being recognized for more than two decades of preservation philanthropy, investment and advocacy at the local, state and national level. Linda has dedicated considerable resources to preserving and protecting the central Kentucky landscape. She has also been an active member of the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, through which she and her husband established the Linda and Jerry Bruckheimer Fund for Kentucky, which supports the preservation of historic buildings, communities and landscapes throughout the Commonwealth.

 Preservation Project Awards recognize outstanding examples of rehabilitation or preservation of historic buildings, or other types of projects that have had a significant impact on Kentucky’s built environment or historic or prehistoric places:

Tom DiBello of the Center for Great Neighborhoods saws the ceremonial first board to begin the transformation o f the Hellmann Lumber & Manufacturing Company building into a creative placmaking hub in September 2015 (file photo).

  • Hellmann Creative Center, Covington, formerly Hellmann Lumber & Manufacturing Company building, a 13,800-square-foot lumber mill constructed between 1886-1894, adapted by the Center for Great Neighborhoods into a creative placemaking hub with flexible community space, artist studios, and their new offices
  • Paducah Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, the city’s finest example of Art Deco architecture, long vacant and deteriorating before Ed and Meagan Musselman purchased it for redevelopment, preserving many original features, bringing in new businesses and jobs, and showcasing local art and artists
  • Rabbit Hash General Store, a local landmark in continuous operation since 1831, a white-frame building nearly lost to fire but meticulously restored by Rabbit Hash Historical Society and other supporters who preserved and utilized as much remaining historic fabric as possible in the rebuilding
  • Robneel Building, Paris, a Main Street commercial and residential structure dating to 1908, carefully rehabilitated by owners Darrell and Debbie Poynter and their son, Chris, who preserved many original features and also allowed former owners, the local Odd Fellows Lodge, to continue meeting on the property

Service to Preservation Awards honor those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to historic preservation, had a positive impact on preserving historic or prehistoric resources through advocacy or education, or developed innovative or model preservation programs:

  • Eric and Ellen Gregory of Midway, for their hands-on rehabilitation of multiple family homes, notably The Bell House in Metcalfe County; for engaging their children to help with these projects; and for utilizing and promoting the use of historic rehabilitation tax credits
  • Martin Luther King and William Wells Brown Neighborhood Associations for “Gathering Our History: An East End Preservation Project,” for documenting Lexington’s East End neighborhood, capturing its stories, and creating an event to publicly celebrate the community’s rich cultural heritage, historic architecture and long-time residents
  • , an annual conference that premiered in 2005 to introduce students and others to innovative work shaping the boundaries of historic preservation practice by bringing together a range of speakers to discuss current topics in an accessible format

Grassroots Preservation Awards honor individuals who have committed their personal time and resources to take on a challenge that addresses preservation of historic resources at the local level:

  • Dr. Andy Paul Keaton of Red Bush in Johnson County, for his considerable time and investment in restoring the Lloyd Hamilton Mott House, a vernacular frame structure dating to 1890 and remarkable for its all-wood construction, and for inventing creative solutions to overcome unique challenges
  • Mt. Washington Youth Chamber of Preservationists (Youth COPs) for “A Milestone at the Crossroads,” a community-wide collaborative led by five Bullitt East high school students to preserve and re-display a limestone mile marker from the 1830s Louisville-Bardstown Turnpike along with an interpretive marker

Ida Lee Willis was the first executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Commission (now Heritage Council) and widow of former Gov. Simeon Willis at the time of her appointment in 1966. The foundation was chartered in her memory in 1979 to create an annual awards program and honor her legacy.

Those expected to attend the ceremony include Don Parkinson, Secretary, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Steve Collins, Chair, Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and Kentucky Heritage Council, Craig Potts, KHC Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer and  Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Board Members

The awards are presented each May during National Historic Preservation Month and recognize excellence in the preservation of historic buildings and cultural resources through investment, advocacy, volunteerism, building partnerships, public involvement, lifelong commitment or significant achievement.

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One Comment

  1. My wife and I love this place. It has so much history. Glad to see the historical value will be preserved.

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