Springfield residents may have property added to historic register

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By Jesse Osbourne

The Springfield Main Street District will soon be considered by the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
An informational meeting to discuss the designation with property owners took place on Tuesday at the Springfield Opera House.
Nell Haydon, the director of Springfield’s Main Street / Renaissance program, said that she wants residents to know that there are no limitations placed on the property if listed on the national register.
“It is really sort of an honorary designation that this is a historic property, and hopefully will be preserved,” she said.
There are, however, some financial incentives.
“There are tax credits available on both the federal level and the state level in improving your properties,” she said.
Haydon cited one example that applies to commercial enterprises.
“There’s an agency in Frankfort that tells you what you can do to that building (to restore it),” she said. “At the end of your renovation process, if you followed and meet with them and follow their guidelines, you can qualify for up to 20 percent in tax credits for a commercial enterprise.”
Haydon said the financial incentive was one reason she wanted to make the entire Renaissance district available for the national register.
“The residential (buildings), that process is a bit different. There is a little bit of financial incentive there,” she said.
According to Haydon, the downtown district is already on the register, as well other areas in the city and county.
Haydon said there were basically no restrictions on what property owners do to their properties, as long as they are within local building and planning and zoning codes.
In the letter to residents, it said, “Owners are not required to show their buildings to tourists or to provide access to their sites as a result of the listing.”
According to Haydon, the city of Springfield applied for a Federal Survey and Planning Grant through the Kentucky Heritage Council. The city received a $7,500 federal grant for the project.
“Our goal is to enlarge the Main Street Historic District to include all properties in the designated Renaissance district, which runs from the Board of Education to Commercial Ave,” Haydon said.
Haydon said the Kentucky Archaeological Survey at the University of Kentucky served as the city’s consultant to prepare the required surveys for the district.
To object to your property being nominated to the national register, a notarized letter must be sent stating objection by Sept. 6 to Lindy Casebier, Acting Executive Director, Kentucky Heritage Council and State Historic Preservation Officer, 300 Washington St., Frankfort, KY 40601.