Newport Historic Preservation Office seeks to designate Buena Vista Neighborhood a historic district

Haley Parnell
Haley Parnell
Haley is a reporter for LINK nky. Email her at [email protected]

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Though the Buena Vista Neighborhood in Newport is already a National Historic District, it needs local designation for complete protection.

Newport’s Historic Preservation Officer Scott Clark proposed that Buena Vista be named a Historic District within the city for preservation efforts.

According to Clark, the local designation allows the city to guide homeowners in preservation efforts, prevent “inappropriate” exterior changes, and halt unnecessary demolitions that may threaten the neighborhood’s structural integrity.

Buena Vista consists of the areas between the north end of West 8th Street, the south part of West 12th Street, the west ends of Brighton and Lowell Streets, and the east side of Putnam and York streets.

Survey boundaries of Buena Vista. Photo provided | Newport Historic Preservation Office

“The designation of a local historic district helps stabilize and improve property values, foster civic pride, and encourage development that remains sensitive to the area’s history and needs,” Clark said.

There are currently three designated local historic districts in Newport, including the East Row, York Street, and Monmouth Street. Each of which has local district historical guidelines for homeowners to follow.

The group has already held one public meeting for these efforts.

At the meetings, Clark said they discuss the history and importance of the neighborhood, the contributions the west side has added over the years, and review some of the area’s unique characteristics.

He said they also discussed the reasoning as to why it’s important to keep the neighborhood feel and avoid “improper” additions and demolitions.

“The Buena Vista Neighborhood is the oldest neighborhood, not only in Newport but also in all of Northern Kentucky,” Clark said. “Northern Kentucky was actually founded on the west side of Newport.”

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Clark said that at the next two meetings, they would take a deeper dive into the process of naming a local historic district. Those meetings will be held on April 12 at 6 p.m. and April 22 at 9 a.m. Both sessions will take place at the Newport City Building in the multi-purpose room.

There will also be a public hearing held in front of the Newport Historic Preservation Commission on May 24 at 6 p.m.

Newport Commissioner Mike Radwanski told Clark he would like him to pull together the guidelines for residents and information on how things currently exist compared to if the neighborhood is named a historic district so they are well informed.

Clark said he encourages everyone to come to the meetings and ask questions.

Newport Commissioner Julie Smith Marrow said she would like to let people know how their concerns would be addressed and let them know if their worries are accurate or a misperception.

“If you have fears, there are many, many great benefits to having a historic district, and one of them is generally an increase in your property values,” Newport Commissioner Beth Fennell said. “Doesn’t mean an increase in your assessment necessarily, for tax purposes, but as far as market value, it does a lot for that.”

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