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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Versailles, Kentucky

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.

Buildings stand in a row
Versailles, Kentucky, has undergone building facade and streetscape improvements, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and individual commercial and residential preservation projects
. (Photo courtesy of the City of Versailles)

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

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