|New Deal-era buildings, structures and sites within a
28-county area of eastern Kentucky are being targeted in an extensive survey being
undertaken beginning this month by the Kentucky Heritage Council, the State Historic
Preservation Office, in conjunction with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and
Preservation Kentucky, Inc. The goal is to produce a comprehensive history and inventory
of east Kentucky New Deal resources that will be released in a report, the "New Deal
Cultural Landscape of East Kentucky," later this fall.
Counties included in a
broader study include Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup,
Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis,
McCreary, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Whitley and Wolfe. For these
communities, letters are being sent to county historical societies, tourism commissions,
city and county leaders and interested individuals seeking input on any buildings,
structures or sites that are known or identified as being associated with New Deal-era
work relief projects.
Because it will not be possible to thoroughly document every New Deal-related structure
in each of these counties, comprehensive historical research and examples of significant
New Deal-era resources will be further studied using three counties as case studies
Greenup, Letcher and McCreary selected due to geographic diversity, previous lack
of any comprehensive survey work, and the availability of local contacts to assist with
project guidance. Kentucky Heritage Council staff will actually conduct intensive surveys
in each of these counties to physically document and research individual New Deal
resources. [NOTE: The first survey work began in Letcher County the week of March 15.]
|"It is hoped that this study will highlight an
important era of modernization in Kentuckys cultural history and help in the
understanding and appreciation of eastern Kentuckys rich legacy," said David L.
Morgan, Kentucky Heritage Council Executive Director and State Historic Preservation
Officer. "In fact, resources documented through this study should help provide the
basis for enhanced tourism opportunities and economic development initiatives."
complete this process, Cynthia Johnson, a research assistant from the University of
Kentucky Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, will work with Rachel Kennedy,
Kentucky Heritage Council Research Coordinator, to research and co-author the report.
The New Deal was a domestic policy program implemented by President Franklin D.
Roosevelt from 1933 through 1943, designed to pull the United States out of the Depression
by creating jobs through direct use of government funding. This program was manifested in
capital improvement projects such as schools, court houses, bridges, dams, roads and parks
built in partnership with various New Deal agencies including the Civilian
Conservation Corps, the Civil Works Administration, the Federal Emergency Relief
Administration, the National Youth Administration, the Public Works Administration, the
Tennessee Valley Authority and the Works Progress Administration.
For more information about the project or to offer information about New Deal resources
in your area, please call Johnson, the primary researcher, at the Kentucky Heritage
Council, (502) 564-7005, ext. 151, or email her at email@example.com.