Saturday, June 30, 2001

Area called special

Winston Park 'historic'

By Stephenie Steitzer
Enquirer Contributor

        The Taylor Mill neighborhood of Winston Park has been deemed worthy of becoming a historic district — a distinction that could have pros and cons for residents.

        A historic preservation consultant from Brookville, Pa., recently identified 150 historic homes in Kenton County, including several in the Winston Park area.

        “It has dozens of wonderful homes that as a group are very significant architecturally,” said consultant David L. Taylor of Taylor and Taylor Associates Inc.

[photo] The Kenton County Courthouse has caught the eye of a preservation consultant. Lisa Cooper of Piner is with daughters Jessie, 8 (left) and Marie, 10.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Taylor's findings, which included public and commercial buildings and large and small homes, were presented to the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission last week.

        The survey was conducted to document Kenton County's history and help local governments with revitalization. Mr. Taylor told the planning commissioners last week that Winston Park homes had the earmarks of a historic district, and other buildings such as the old county courthouse in Independence were also historic treasures.

        Mr. Taylor said the Winston Park neighborhood, built in the 1920s and 1930s, was significant in that it was cohesive and well-planned.

        While a historic district can mean good things for a community, Winston Park residents have mixed feelings on such a designation.

        Bonnie and Ted Wilham, of the 4900 block of Church Street, said they purchased their home four years ago because of its historical nature, so the designation would be advantageous.

        Though most homes in the area are 60- and 70-year-old English tudors and bungalows, a few are new and clad with vinyl siding.

        “I've heard several neighbors say (the vinyl siding) doesn't fit in with the style of our neighborhood,” Ms. Wilham said.

        The designation of a historic district would prevent development that doesn't comply with specific guidelines.

        Pat Wingo, Newport's director of economic development and historic preservation, said the state's second-largest historic district was established in Newport about 10 years ago and has proven more beneficial than not.

        Huff Realty agent Ardith Scott said a historic district is appealing to investors.

        “People who want to buy and resell at a later time would be investing in the property knowing that it's going to appreciate and not be changed,” Ms. Scott said. She said historic district residents also have the comfort of knowing that a store or factory is not going to be constructed in their back yard.

        While 76-year-old Winston Park resident Wilma Hart doesn't plan any major changes to her Sunset Place home, she'd prefer leaving well enough alone.

        "I think that (designation) probably sounds like more of a headache for us,' Ms. Hart said.

        Residents must obtain a permit to make any exterior alterations. If the changes comply with the guidelines, Ms. Wingo said the preservation director can grant approval.

        If the changes don't comply, however, a design review board must consider the request. And, a property owner who fails to obtain a permit can be fined.

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