Preserve America Community:
Versailles is a town
of about 7,300 citizens located in the renowned Bluegrass Region
of central Kentucky. The seat of Woodford County, Versailles was
established in 1792 and incorporated in 1837.
The rich farmlands that surrounded the town made it a vital agricultural trading center, and many of the residents built impressive homes in the early 19th century. In addition to its downtown commercial area, these homes form the nucleus of the town's four historic districts today.
Since 1999, Versailles has substantially turned around a deteriorating and increasingly deserted town center by undertaking a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization in its eight-block National Register historic district.
The town became a participant in the Kentucky Renaissance and Main Street programs, and has achieved recognition as a National Main Street Community for the past five years. Successful efforts include building façade and streetscape improvements, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and many individual commercial and residential preservation projects.
Over the last four years, the town has brought in $972,000 in grant funds and attracted more than $12 million in private investment. This investment has enabled Versailles to retain established businesses and attract new ones. Versailles continues to develop itself as a heritage tourism destination as well, and recently updated its historic district walking tour brochures.
Updated March 23, 2004