The Scholar House Housing and Park Development

THE MODEL GROUP

The Scholar House is a proposed housing and park development located on three urban lots in Newport, Kentucky. During a Phase I Survey performed at the onset of the project, to meet requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act by another consultant, three previously undocumented sites were recorded and deemed potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) under Criterion D. The Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC) recommended these sites be avoided or subjected to Phase II archaeological investigations.

L&A was awarded the prime contract to complete the Phase II survey of the Scholar House South Block to define archaeological site boundaries and evaluate NRHP significance for two of the sites identified. This investigation involved archival research to establish a more detailed history of the lots and targeted excavation of mechanical trenches to identify subsurface features, namely privies.

Twenty five (25) cultural features – including foundations, privies, brick walkways, three brick features that may be bakery ovens and other historical period archaeological features associated with the nineteenth and early twentieth century occupation – were identified in the Area of Potential Effect (APE). These findings allowed L&A to refine the horizontal site boundaries of the two previously recorded archaeological sites, which were determined to have been part of a complex urban neighborhood occupied by German, Russian and Jewish immigrants and eligible for the NRHP. Three additional previously unrecorded sites were identified and evaluated during the Phase II, one of which was determined to have the potential to provide further significant archaeological information about this neighborhood and therefore potentially eligible for the NRHP.

L&A recommended and prepared an Avoidance and Preservation Plan, including archaeological monitoring during construction, protective coverings for identified cultural features, deed restrictions to establish a Restricted Archaeological Zone and an National Park style outdoor educational exhibit, with concurrence from KHC.