|The studio in Spring.|
The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy landed a grant from the Linda and Jerry Bruckheimer Preservation Fund for Kentucky to continue its restoration of the Harlan Hubbard Studio located in the middle of Fort Thomas.
The Bruckheimer Preservation Fund works with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and provides grants for preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and stabilization of the physical sites and structures of historical importance to Kentucky. FTFC was award a $5,000 matching grant. Those matching funds were raised from a Night With Harlan Hubbard Art Auction and Sale in 2019.
Sidney Thomas, FTFC board member says, “The person I worked with at the National Trust was fantastic. She helped me the whole way.”
The grant allowed the non-profit to do major exterior brick restoration. The studio, on the National Register of Historic Places, is almost 100 years old and since it was constructed from reclaimed materials it has suffered a bit of wear and tear. Many exterior bricks disintegrated and the mortar cracked and popped out of place.
Hicon was awarded the contract. They used appropriately aged brick that they salvage from various sources and mortar that is as historically accurate as possible. They replaced over 125 exterior bricks as well as restored the interior beehive fireplace. It took about a week to finish the project.
“They did a fantastic job.” Thomas says. “There was so much debris falling" from the deteriorating bricks. Hicon restored the beehive fireplace to the point “where they felt comfortable that we could have a fire in there very safely if we use something small like a Duraflame log,” adds Thomas.
LET’S MAKE YOUR HOME, A JOLLY HOME.
“This project reaches beyond the boundaries of Fort Thomas.” Hubbard is a Kentucky treasure but his influence goes far beyond those boundaries. He has been inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame and was presented with the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The studio has hosted artists, local schools and universities, and historic preservation organizations.
Sidney Thomas adds, “This [restoration] is a continual process because it [the building] is made from all reclaimed materials.” And older buildings need constant attention.
The studio is open to the public on the third Saturday of the month from 10:00 - 1:00 and is located at 129 Highland Avenue. The next studio hours is August 21.
You can help by becoming a member of FTFC or contribute to the ongoing restoration at www.ftfc.org.