Preservation Activities

Historic Sites Preservation and the Bluegrass Trust Plaque Program

The Society, working in conjunction with the Kentucky Heritage Council and local government, has conducted several historic site surveys and is actively involved in the acquisition and preservation of property associated with the Battle of Richmond.  In November 2001 the society acquired the 62-acre Barnett-Gibbs-Herndon Civil War farm site, located six miles south of Richmond on Kingston Highway (US 421).  The farm became part of the Madison County Park system in 2003.  The Society along with the Battle of Richmond Association is assisting the county in managing and interpreting the property.  Additionally, the Society coordinates the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation Plaque Program for the county, which is part of a larger effort to identify and preserve significant historical sites in Central Kentucky.

Important Preservation Announcement

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   October 30, 2009


For more information contact:  Bob Polsgrove, 502-875-1223 or

The Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation, a ten-year old non-profit Foundation will implement a new historic preservation program starting in Madison County. The Trust will work in partnership with the Madison County Historical Society to survey the restoration and preservation needs of the 84 historic buildings and sites located in the county.

The Madison County project will allow the Trust to develop a two-fold effort. Basic information on the condition of each National Register listed building and site will be collected by a staff person from the Trust who will visit each historic building and discuss its situation with the owner. The visit will allow the Trust to establish communication with the owners about preservation techniques and incentives. A preliminary evaluation of the condition of the house will be made if the owner wishes to participate in the program. As the on-site reports come in, the Trust and the Madison County Historical Society will discuss which properties will qualify for assistance in Phase II of the project.

During Phase II, the sponsoring partners will carry out either an Emergency Stabilization on the most Endangered of the properties by raising money to repair a roof, or to cover broken out windows and missing doors with plywood, and to remove vegetation that is damaging the building. Or it will work with interested owners to develop a Building Preservation Management Plan that will help the owner to make appropriate changes to the building. In some cases, restoration sketches will be prepared for the property as a guide for the owner’s future efforts. The Trust believes that helping the owners get started and helping them to understand the various incentives available for historic preservation will lead to better maintenance and stewardship of historic properties.

This approach began simply enough when Ky. Trust Board Member David Collins of Flemingsburg was looking for a Madison County stream suitable for kayaking. On the same day, Bryant Burke, a contractor-consultant who has carried out restoration projects in other counties for the Trust, was visiting in another part of Madison County. Both encountered an eighteenth century stone house during their stay that day.  Being true preservationists, they started thinking about who built the houses, who lived there, and why they had become vacant and distressed.

When both owners told the Kentucky Trust that they would welcome either design or emergency stabilization help, the Trust decided to go forward with this project. We started looking for ways to fund small rehab projects and to provide limited design assistance and planning to owners. We then called the President of the Madison County Historical Society and to ask for a meeting with its Board to discuss our Program Proposal and the possibility of the two organizations working together.

After receiving a commitment of support from the Historical Society, The Kentucky Trust moved quickly to start this project on October first. Will Updike, a graduate student in historic preservation at the University of Kentucky came on board to do the field survey work. Updike is an experienced archeologist who is shifting his own professional preservation interest to historic buildings and sites. Some of the things Updike will be doing under Kentucky Trust supervision include updating the names and addresses of property owners, and taking notes on each site’s physical condition.

Updike will leave information about the project at every property visited and will mail information to the owners of uninhabited sites. If you would like more information about the project or to make a donation for use on the stabilization of an endangered Madison County historic property, please contact Kentucky Trust President  Bob Polsgrove at 502-875-1223, or e-mail him at

If you prefer to make a donation of money and/or building supplies, your contribution to the Kentucky Trust in support of Madison County projects is tax deductible and much appreciated.  Or, let us know if you would like to start a similar project in your county.  Make Preservation a part of YOUR life!

Debra C. Reynolds, Director of Development
The Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation
108 Evergreen Court 
Bardstown KY 40004