Crescent Hill plant part of historic district

Crescent Hill plant part of historic district
November 5, 2019

Several years ago, Marty Poynter Hedgepeth, the Director of Research for the Landmarks Commission, nominated the Crescent Hill Historic District (with its residences, schools, churches, commercial and industrial buildings) for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant is within the boundaries outlined in the nomination. The historic district was listed in 1982.

Hedgepeth exclaimed that the "(s)ignificance of Crescent Hill lies in its rich collection of late 19th and early 20th century domestic architecture and its development as a middle-class railroad suburb of Louisville. The overall ambiance of the district is marked by a sylvan character due in part to the presence of a number of institutions situated on large tracts of land and the gently rolling topography of the area."

One of those institutions, "between Stilz and Sacred Heart Lane," she stated, "is the Louisville Water Company Pumping House and Filtration Plant and Water Tower. These handsome, classical, utilitarian structures set on a large tract of land with formal plantings and a fountain at the intersection of Stilz and Frankfort."

Inclusion in a historic district is a bit different than an individual listing. The National Register lists a historic district as "a geographically definable area, urban or rural, possessing a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united by past events …."

There are contributing and non-contributing buildings within historic districts. Contributing buildings add historic value and are architecturally worthy of preservation.

A non-contributing building could be a building that has been greatly altered, or a modern building not within the historic time period (1840 to 1945, as stated in the application).

It could be argued that Louisville Water’s main contributing buildings include the North/South Filter Building, the Chemical Building, the Pump Station, and the East Filter Building.

The two ornamental entrances at both Stilz and Frankfort Avenues might also be considered contributing features.

Historic district map courtesy of Lisa Thompson, National Register Coordinator, Kentucky Heritage Council

Black and white photo above: This image of the Crescent Hill Filter Building was one of the photographs included in the National Register nomination of the Crescent Hill Historic District.