Blue Grass Trust: More than just a sign

Learn about Blue Grass Trust, the organization behind those infamous bronze signs around town + how you can celebrate 70 years of historic preservation and education in Central Kentucky.

A two-story navy blue house with a red door and white shutters.

Raise your hand if you love seeing the BGT signs on houses? | Photo by LEXtoday

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As Blue Grass Trust (BGT) approaches 70 years of education, advocacy, and historic preservation in the Central Kentucky area, it’s celebrating by taking a look back. And so are we.

Today, we’re sharing our conversation with BGT Executive Director Jonathan Coleman to learn a little bit more about the group behind those famous bronze signs adorning historical places.

About BGT

BGT is a donor-funded nonprofit that aims to protect + promote special historic places in the community. “Basically, we’re a group of concerned citizens, with a mission to educate, provide service, and mostly to advocate for preservation,” said Coleman.

“We want to make preservation accessible for everyone. We don’t care if it’s a 1950s bungalow or 1700s mansion,” he added. The group can lead you to available historic tax credits or people who can properly renovate older homes.

A close up of a red brick home with a bronze BGT plaque on it.

Buildings must be at least 50 years old to be eligible for a BGT plaque. | Photo by LEXtoday

The signs

We see them everywhere, but what exactly do the plaques represent? “It’s basically a way to sort of shift one’s focus to think about the house. It’s not just bricks and mortar, it actually represents something that’s part of the fabric of a larger community,” Coleman said. Find out how to become a part of the Plaque Program.

Celebrating 70 years

Head to the Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan House (210 N. Broadway) tonight, March 5 at 7 p.m. to learn about the organization’s milestones from historic preservation manager Dr. Zak Leonard. He’ll share the pivotal moments, challenges, and successes experienced along their history. Registration is required.

Other ways to get involved

  • Become a member — the group receives no regular city, state, or federal funding, so local support + membership is key.
  • Check out its deTours — learn about sites that make the Bluegrass special, held the first Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m.
  • Take a self-guided walking tour