Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Old House Loves Covington!

This Old House' honors Covington

By Mike Rutledge

COVINGTON - "This Old House," the 30-year-old television program that helped make restoration of older homes more fashionable, has ranked Northern Kentucky's largest city as one of the country's best places to buy an Old House.

"Houses here are beautiful, solid and cheap," touts the television program's Web site. "Covington is a New Urbanist's dream, with shops, groceries, parks, bike trails, and the city of Cincinnati, all within walking distance."

Covington Historic Preservation Officer Beth Johnson prefers the word "affordable" rather than cheap, because the homes - many of them constructed with bricks, and many 100-plus years old - were built to last, with both flair and sturdy craftsmanship.

"You can go down a street and see large amounts of intact historic fabric," Johnson said. "You can go block for block and see another beautiful Italianate, then you see a Queen Anne, then you see a Second Empire."

Another big thing is "the people who fill the houses," Johnson said, and the active neighborhood associations "that automatically make you feel welcome, because they're out there talking to you."

You're not just buying a house, she said: "You're buying a neighborhood, and you're buying a great place to live."

"We have a lot of historic buildings, and I think we're beginning to become more and more recognized for that," said Aaron Wolfe-Bertling, Covington's housing development director. "They are not only very affordable, but located literally in the center of a large metropolitan area that offers all kinds of amenities."

Wolfe-Bertling lives in Covington's Mother of God neighborhood, within walking distance of both the MainStrasse entertainment district and Cincinnati's sports stadiums.

Covington was among 16 Southern places that made the list, joining the Poplar Springs area of Meridian, Miss.; East Durham, N.C.; and the Lower Garden District of New Orleans. It was among 51 places nationwide.

While we're at it, don't forget you can Buy This House!

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