Blue Grass Trust honors Central Kentuckians for efforts in historic preservation

gkocher1@herald-leader.comJune 22, 2014 

The Blue Grass Trust on Sunday honored Central Kentuckians for efforts in historic preservation. Founded in 1955, the trust has helped to save numerous historic properties.

Here are the winners of the 2014 Historic Preservation Awards:

■ Nathaniel Hensley, a craftsman of rolled steel, Preservation Craftsman Award, given to a building industry craftsman who has exhibited strong commitment to quality craftsmanship for historic buildings.

■ David Buchta, director of the state Division of Historic Properties and state curator, Public Service to Preservation Award, given to a government agency or official for service to preservation movement or to a specific project. Buchta organized and oversaw the centennials of the State Capitol and the Governor's Mansion.

■ Bob Kelly and Sarah House Tate, and the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Clay Lancaster Heritage Education Award. Architects Kelly and Tate prepared research and presented lectures on the Ernst Johnson buildings that are being demolished on the University of Kentucky campus; and the Herald-Leader provided news coverage, editorials, cartoons and numerous op-ed pieces submitted by the community on the buildings. The award is given to an individual or group for service in researching and disseminating information about Central Kentucky.

■ Providence Montessori school board, The Friends of the Kentucky Theatre, and Marc and Cindy Ford, Community Preservation Award. The award is given to a non-governmental group for service to the preservation movement.

Providence Montessori bought the former Florence Crittenton Home at 519 West Fourth Street in Lexington, to be used as a middle school.

The theater group raised $750,000 as part of a $1.5 million campaign to install digital projectors and replace seats in the theater.

The Fords have been the stewards of Colby Tavern on Becknerville Road in Clark County since 1998. In its heyday in the mid-19th century, this roadside inn and tavern hosted Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay among countless others. From 2007 to 2014, the Fords renovated the structures and added to them.

■ Jess and Angela Correll, Barbara Hulette Award, for numerous restoration projects in Stanford and Danville. The Corrells led the team in the purchase of the Willis Green House in Danville. The award recognizes preservation of Central Kentucky heritage, built environment, landscape, archaeological resources, sense of community and significant endeavors.

■ Town and Garden Club, Lucy Shropshire Crump Volunteer Award, for its maintenance of the Hunt Morgan House garden. The award is for exemplary service to the Blue Grass Trust throughout the year.

■ Don and Barb Wathen, and Lester Miller and Aumaine Mott, Lucy Graves Advocacy Award, given for exhibiting advocacy leadership in supporting the historic preservation movement in Central Kentucky.

The Wathens developed Nick Ryan's restaurant on Jefferson Street in Lexington. Miller and Mott developed Al's Bar on North Limestone and Stella's Kentucky Deli on Jefferson Street.

■ Elvis and Geneva Donaldson, Betty Hoopes Volunteer Service Award, for their service as volunteers to the Antiques and Garden Show Committee.

■ County Club, Belle's Cocktail House and BC Wood Properties, Clyde Carpenter Adaptive Reuse Award.

County Club is a restaurant in a little building on Jefferson Street that once served as a storage facility for various bread manufacturing companies starting in the early 1900s, before being acquired by the West Sixth group.

Belle's Cocktail House, named for famed Lexington madam Belle Brezing, is at Market and Church streets in a building that once housed a law firm.

BC Wood Properties, 321 Henry Street, in what originally was Central Kentucky Bluegrass Seed Co., built by renowned entrepreneur James Ben Ali Haggin. "The interior and the stunning reuse of this building ... (created) an office building with great respect for its National Register Status and historic nature," the Trust said in its comments.

■ Marcia Farris and Jim Krupa, Landscape Preservation Award.

Farris recently retired as the first director of the Arboretum on Alumni Drive after 15 years of service.

Krupa has cultivated more than 350 species of plants and trees in the garden of the Mathews House on South Limestone near the UK Law School.

■ James and Martha Birchfield, John Wesley Hunt Award, given to individuals for lifetime service to the preservation movement in Kentucky. When they arrived in Lexington in the 1980s, the Birchfields immediately began preservation efforts on their house on West Third Street. Over the years Jim Birchfield has served as a member of the boards of the Blue Grass Trust and Henry Clay Memorial Foundation, and is a founding board member, trustee and past president of Clay Lancaster's Warwick Foundation. The Birchfields were recognized for "their 'unofficial' but constant efforts over 30 years of documenting the past and promoting preservation of the historic fabric in the Bluegrass."

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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