Nicholasville, Kentucky (population 19,680) was laid out in 1798 and named for George Nicholas, a Revolutionary War colonel known as the "Father of Kentucky's Constitution." It is the county seat of Jessamine County, and its downtown is a National Historic District.
Nicholasville participates in a four-county Heritage Landmarks Corridor, as well as in the Bluegrass Area Development District Tourism Council, the Kentucky Heritage Council, and the Historic U.S. 68/80 Commission, among other heritage tourism partnerships. Together these organizations promote historic and cultural attractions, events, and walking and driving tours.
The Downtown Nicholasville Façade Rehabilitation Project provides matching grants to property owners who agree to follow the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings. To date, "Nicholasville Now!," a Kentucky Renaissance/Main Street organization, has distributed $80,000 in public funds to 23 projects, leveraging investment of more than $200,000 in private money.
In addition to esthetic improvement, there has been a definite economic benefit. Ten new businesses have opened in the historic downtown and others are planning to do so. Nicholasville also has organized a committee of young people called Youth on Main Street, who help plan and implement project and events in the historic downtown, thus encouraging a new generation of preservation enthusiasts.
Designated a Preserve America Community in November 2004.
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