Friday, December 12, 2014

Pike County site approved this week for listing in the National Register of Historic Places nomination

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board this week approved six sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, nominations which will now be forwarded to the National Park Service (NPS) for final determination of eligibility. A decision on designation will be rendered within 60 to 90 days.
One of the sites includes Elkhorn City Elementary and High Schools in Pike County.
Owners of National Register properties may qualify for state and/or federal tax credits for rehabilitation of these properties to standards set forth by the Secretary of the Interior, as certified by the Kentucky Heritage Council, or by making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement. National Register status does not affect property ownership rights, but does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects.
The National Register is the nation’s official list of historic and archaeological resources deemed worthy of preservation. Kentucky has the fourth-highest number of listings among states, at more than 3,300. Listing can be applied to buildings, objects, structures, districts and archaeological sites, and proposed sites must be significant in architecture, engineering, American history or culture.
This nomination consists of Elkhorn High School, circa 1938; Elkhorn Elementary School, circa 1955; and a music building, circa 1956; and three non-contributing buildings, all situated on a 6.8-acre parcel. Elkhorn High School is a two-story masonry building, constructed using funds from the Works Progress Administration and attributed to architect Walt Merryweather. To the rear is an attached masonry gymnasium and stage with a Quonset-style arched roof. The elementary school is also two stories, a masonry structure punctuated by steel windows with a flat roof. The Elkhorn City Schools band and choir room is a simple concrete block building with a single room, chimneys on either end and an entrance door topped with a transom. All were abandoned in 2002. According to the author, the community “has long been associated with and influenced by the economic well-being of the coal mining industry. During the contextual period, coal mining required progressively less manpower, leading many coal companies to downsize their labor force, and to divest themselves of company-owned towns. Despite this pressure on the local economy, Elkhorn City demonstrated its belief in its own permanence, and in the benefit of providing a quality educational plant for its children...” The buildings are being nominated under Criterion A, significant within the context, “Education in Elkhorn City, 1938-1965.”