Greenup and Boyd County Site Visit Summary
Brief County Contexts
Greenup County lies in the Appalachian region of
the state, in the northeast corner, and is bordered
by the Ohio River and by Boyd, Lewis, and Carter
C o u n t i e s . Gr e e n u p C o u n t y wa s n ame d f o r
Christopher Greenup, Kentucky’s fourth governor.
(Kleber 1992, 389). The 350-square-mile area of
Gr e e n u p C o u n t y i s p a r t o f t h e d i s s e c t e d
Cumberland Plateau with an average elevation of
534 feet above sea level. The terrain is mainly steep,
n a r r ow h i l l s . T h e l a n d i s mo r e t h a n two - t h i r d s
f o r e s t e d , mo s t l y i n h a r dwo o d s s u c h a s r e d o a k ,
whi t e oak, and ye l low popl a r. The Li t t l e Sandy
River and Tygart’s Creek flow northward into the
Ohio River, dividing the county into three almost
equal parts. (Kleber 1992, 389). Mineral deposits
include limestone, sandstone, shale, clay, sand, coal,
and some iron ore. The ready availability of coal and iron ore made the area a center for
smelting i ron in the nine t e enth c entury, when r ive r t r anspor t a t ion of sme l t ed i ron wa s an
important consideration. (Kleber 1992, 389).
Greenup County’s e conomy i s broad-ba s ed, depending on both indus t ry and agr i cul tur e .
Eleven surface coal mines produced 1.05 million tons of coal in 1986. Much of Armco Steel’s
Ashland plant lies in Greenup County, including two huge blast furnaces—Amanda, once
among the world’s largest, and Bellefonte. (Kleber 1992, 390). The Chesapeake & Ohio
Railroad, now CSX Transportation, also has a large rail yard located in the county. Combined
agriculture receipts in 1986 were $7.2 million, including $4.2 million in crop receipts and $3
million in livestock. Burley tobacco has been the main crop with more than 1.6 million pounds
produced in 1988, and the county is one of Kentucky’s largest apple producers. (Kleber 1992,
390). The two largest cities in the county are Flatwoods and Russell, which adjoin one another,
directly across the Ohio River from Ironton, Ohio. Greenup County’s population was 33,192
in 1970, 39,132 in 1980, and 36,742 in 1990. (Kleber 1992, 390).
Boyd County is located at the eastern edge of the state
on the Ohio and Big Sandy Rivers and contains 160
square miles. As part of the Hanging Rock iron ore
r e g i o n , t h i s a r e a a t t r a c t e d Ge rma n a n d I r i s h
immigrant laborers, ironmasters from Pennsylvania,
a n d we a l t h y i n v e s t o r s f r om t h e S o u t h a n d E a s t .
(Chappell 1978, 5). A total of 29 charcoal-fueled iron
furnaces operated on the Kentucky side of the Ohio
River, seven of them in what is now Boyd County.
(Jackson 1992, 108). In fact, Buena Vista furnace was
built in 1847; Sandy furnace in 1853; Ashland furnace
“Birdseye view of Ashland, taken from the Water
reservoir, 1940.” (GP Collection).
Detail of an 1895 Map of Kentucky. (Kentucky Land
O f f i c e , K e n t u c k y S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e , h t t p : / /
in 1869; Norton furnace in 1873; and Princess furnace in 1876.
The Kentucky Iron, Coal and Manufacturing Company laid out the town of Ashland in 1854
when it was still a part of Greenup County. The town became a part of Boyd County in 1870.
Ashland was soon established as a regional hub due to its access to transportation routes,
including the Big Sandy River and numerous railroad lines. (Powers 1992, 36). Much of the
city’s growth was due to its role as a distribution point for the region’s coal, iron, and raw
materials. Several industries also located in Ashland include Armco Steel and Ashland Oil.
These companies contributed to accelerated growth in the late nineteenth century. (Jackson
1992, 109). Currently, Ashland is the largest in the city in eastern Kentucky. (Powers 1992,
This project originally aimed to document WPA and CCC resources in Greenup County. Once
archival research commenced, it became clear that a more urban area was needed to contrast
with the other three counties. Boyd County was chosen due to its urbanity and proximity to
Greenup. It was also decided not to abandon survey in Greenup County because the county
is under-represented in the Heritage Council’s resource inventory. Therefore, the research
team decided to include both counties in the case study.
As with the other county surveys, archival sources
we r e consul t ed to ga in an unde r s t anding of WPA
and CCC activities in Greenup and Boyd Counties.
The Goodman-Paxton Collection (GP, PA64M1) and
t h e Na t i o n a l Ar c h i v e s WPA i n d e x e s a t KDLA
(NARA 2920) helped to identify resources associated
with the WPA in Greenup and Boyd Counties during
t h e De p r e s s i o n e r a . T h e C C C C amp News l e t t e r
Collection in the Kentucky History Center’s archives
(KHS, RG2001M01) and the CCC Alumni
Organization (http://www.cccalumni.org/) we r e
reviewed for possible CCC camp sites and projects.
Ac c o r d i n g t o t h e s e s o u r c e s , t h e r e we r e n o C C C
projects in either of the survey counties.
T h e KHC s u r v e y i n v e n t o r y wa s a l s o a c c e s s e d t o
yield previously documented sites associated with
the New Deal. Two sites in Greenup County and
three sites in Boyd County had been surveyed that
are associated with New Deal agencies. Four of the
five surveys were for WPA resources and one may
be associated with the PWA.
The total number of sites identified from archival sources for Greenup County was 13 resources.
This total includes: one court house, three schools (newly built), six roads, one bridge, and
two sanitary sewers. There were eleven resources were associated with the WPA and two
associated with the PWA.
“Shaping stones for Greenup Courthouse.” Photo
taken circa 1938. (GP Collection).98
In Boyd County, the New Deal agencies of the WPA and PWA were very active. There is one
resource that has been identified associated with KERA in Boyd County. The total number of
sites in Boyd County were: three schools (all demolished), one gymnasium, one stadium, one
playground (demolished), one library (demolished), one park pond and bathhouse, one fish
hatchery, one prison, five roads, city streets in Ashland and Catlettsburg (quantity and locations
unknown), retaining wall near railroad (unknown location), one water tank (underground,
n o t v i s i b l e ) , o n e s ewe r s y s t em ( u n d e rg r o u n d , n o t v i s i b l e ) , s ewa g e p ump i n g s t a t i o n
(demolished), one water reservoir and pump house (sediment basin), and one water filtration
pl ant (demol i shed) .
Before conducting site visits, local contacts provided information on the status of resources
identified in the archival research. This was accomplished by compiling a database of resources
previously identified through archival sources which was sent prior to the field visit. The
local informants met with the field recorder to discuss the list and identify locations of sites
on county maps . Gr e enup County Libr a r i an Dorothy Gr i f f i th, Gr e enup County r e s ident
Darwina Belcher, Ashland Economic Development Director Gail Melvin, local historian and
author George Wolfford, Park Recreation Director Bruce Craft, and Assistant Director of the
Boyd County Public Services Department Marion Russell served as local contacts for the survey.
Greenup County Survey Synopsis
Surveys were conducted in June and October 2004. Project staff drove the entire county and
attempted to record WPA sites. In Greenup County, Routes 1, 2 and 7 were traveled through
the central portions of the county. Highway 23 that follows the banks of the Ohio River was
traveled from South Portsmouth to the Boyd County border.
Dorothy Griffith and Darwina Belcher were consulted about their knowledge of New Deal
era resources in the county. They confirmed which sites were extant and provided approximate
locations. Resources in Greenup County were easily located since most of the buildings were
associated with identifiable communities.
Greenup County Survey Statistics
Prior to Fieldwork
422 sites included in the Kentucky Survey, and 24 sites listed in the National Register
13 resources identified for survey
4 sites confirmed by locals to be extant
1 resource, status unknown by locals
8 resources have not been located at this time, therefore not included in fieldwork
5 resources attempted for survey
4 resources confirmed extant by project staff
1 resource confirmed demolished after survey99
Results of Fieldwork
2 new resources added to KHC inventory
2 sites were resurveyed; updated forms were prepared
1 new resource is potentially eligible for National Register
l i s t ing
2 resurveyed sites are also eligible
Resource Survival Rates
31 pe r c ent surviva l r a t e of r e sour c e s ident i f i ed in the
archives versus resources found extant during field work.
4 / 1 3
Futur e survey work in Gr e enup County should inc lude WPA
roads not yet documented. It is also possible that sanitary privies
a s s o c i a t e d wi t h t h e WPA mi g h t s t i l l b e e x t a n t . R e s o u r c e s
associated with other New Deal agencies such as the CWA and
PWA should be recorded during future survey efforts.
WPA r e s o u r c e s d o c ume n t e d i n Gr e e n u p C o u n t y p r o v e d t o b e f i n e e x amp l e s o f l o c a l
craftsmanship. The locally quarried stone gives a unique identity to these historic resources.
The Greenup County Courthouse symbolizes the WPA efforts to create durable and distinctive
public buildings. The two schools represent the diversity of architectural styles utilized during
the New Deal era.
Boyd County Survey Synopsis
Surveys were conducted in June and October 2004. Project staff drove the entire county and
attempted to record WPA sites. Highway 23 was also traversed from the Boyd County border
South to Cattletsburg. Other roads traveled in Boyd County were Highway 60 and Routes 3,
5, 716, 766, and 854. Gail Melvin and George Wolfford assisted in locating extant resources in
B o y d C o u n t y. Ad d i t i o n a l h e l p c ame f r om B r u c e C r a f t a n d Ma r i o n R u s s e l l i n As h l a n d ,
concerning park and public utility resources. Most of the Boyd County sites were located in
extant communities. Given the large urban area of Ashland, local contacts Gail Melvin, George
Wolford, and Marion Russell accompanied the field recorder to many of the sites. For sites
located in the Boyd County’s rural areas, local informants provided directions.
Greenup County Judge Executive
G.W. Burchett, 1942. (GP Collection).100
Boyd County Survey Statistics
Prior to Fieldwork
788 sites included in the Kentucky Survey, and 94 National Register sites
21 resources identified for survey
6 sites confirmed by locals to be extant
2 resources confirmed to have been demolished prior to fieldwork
8 resources have not been located at this time, therefore not included in fieldwork
5 resources, status unknown by locals
11 resources attempted for survey
8 resources confirmed extant by project staff
3 resources confirmed as demolished after survey
Results of Fieldwork
6 new resources added to KHC inventory
3 sites were resurveyed, 2 new forms were prepared, one site was demolished
6 new resources are potentially eligible for National Register listing
2 previously surveyed sites are also eligible
Resource Survival Rate
38 percent survival rate of resources identified in archives versus resources found
ext ant .
Futur e survey work in Boyd County should inc lude the WPA roads and qua r r i e s not ye t
documented. It is also possible that sanitary privies associated with the WPA might still be
extant. Resources associated with other New Deal agencies such as the CWA and PWA should
also be recorded.
B o y d C o u n t y ’s h i s t o r i c New De a l r e s o u r c e s r e p r e s e n t a c r o s s - s e c t i o n o f p r o p e r t y t y p e s
cons t ruc t ed dur ing the New De a l e r a . The spor t s - r e l a t ed r e sour c e s r ema in a s communi ty
landmarks and public infrastructure facilities continue to serve the county on a dependable
basis. Central Park’s Lily Pond has been thoughtfully restored and provides a unique public
resource. The historic resources in both Greenup and Boyd counties serve as excellent New
Deal case studies. The following text highlights property types and discusses survey results.
Property types surveyed or identified in the county include schools, gymnasiums, a courthouse,
a library, a public park, a prison, roads and streets, quarries, bridges and culverts, sanitary
sewers, a waterworks, sanitary privies, a fish hatchery, a retaining wall, and a WPA relief
office. The following text highlights and discusses the property types and survey results.101
Often times, schools were constructed by the WPA,
PWA, CWA, or KE RA a s r e p l a c eme n t s f o r
d i l a p i d a t e d s c h o o l s i n o r d e r t o mo d e r n i z e
educational facilities in a county. The WPA built
three school facilities in Greenup County. In Boyd
County, three schools were built by the WPA. (GP,
Gymna s iums and othe r r e c r e a t iona l f a c i l i t i e s l ike
athletic fields and playgrounds were also constructed
d u r i n g t h e New De a l e r a . T h e s e p r o p e r t y t y p e s
a l l owe d memb e r s o f t h e c ommu n i t y a n d s c h o o l
c h i l d r e n t o h a v e a d e d i c a t e d p l a c e t o e n g a g e i n
p h y s i c a l a c t i v i t y. T h e y a l s o s e r v e d t e ams f r om
surrounding communities to play against the home
team, providing local entertainment. One gym, one
f o o t b a l l s t a d i um, a n d o n e p l a y g r o u n d we r e
constructed by the WPA in Boyd County. (GP, PA64M1).
S c h o o l s /Gymn a s i ums /Re c r e a t i o n a l F i e l d s
Based on WPA photographic and archival evidence,
as well as fieldwork, a variety of plans and styles
were used for the schools. The two extant schools
i n Gr e e n u p C o u n t y we r e b u i l t o f n a t i v e s t o n e
ma sonry cons t ruc t ion. The cour s ing pa t t e rns and
t y p e s o f s t o n e d i f f e r e d . B o t h b u i l d i n g s we r e
c o n s t r u c t e d o f s q u a r e - c u t , i r r e g u l a r l y - c o u r s e d
sandstone. Stone dressing for the Greenup County
s c h o o l s wa s i n a r o c k o r q u a r r y f a c e s t y l e . The
Cannonsburg School wa s c o n s t r u c t e d wi t h b r i c k .
T h e b o n d i n g p a t t e r n i s u n d e t e rmi n e d , a s t h e
building no longer stands.
There is no distinct architectural style used for the
s c h o o l s i n Gr e e n u p a n d B o y d C o u n t i e s .
Architectural styles appear to be either influenced
by Colonial Revival or Art Deco/Moderne, as well
as a regional vernacular style, given the use of native
stone. This combination of architectural styles is not
surprising since these were fashionable during the
time period. Architectural elements like columned
p o r c h e s a n d d i v i d e d l i g h t wi n d ows a r e C o l o n i a l
R e v i v a l e l eme n t s t h a t c o u l d b e s e e n a t F u l l e r t o n
Representative stone work on WPA schools in
Greenup County. Fullerton School, circa 1939. (GP
Cannonsburg School (Boyd County), circa 1942.
Catlettsburg Playground and Bleachers (Boyd Co.),
circa 1938. (GP Collection).
Fullerton School (Greenup Co.), circa 1939. (GP
School and the former Cannonsburg School. The Art Deco/Moderne influence is demonstrated
by flat roofs, curved awnings, and vertical relief that one can see at Greenup City School.
Gyms constructed by New Deal agencies, such as FERA, WPA, NYA, CWA, KERA, and PWA,
were commonly built as free standing buildings associated with an adjacent school plant.
Gene r a l ly, they we r e cons t ruc t ed wi th s tone or br i ck ma sonry. Howeve r, gymna s iums in
eastern Kentucky are just as frequently built of frame. Based on the function of this property
type, buildings are likely to be rectangular in form to accommodate a basketball court. Gyms
are usually double height spaces with high windows to allow for natural light and ventilation.
Re c r e a t iona l Fi e lds we r e gene r a l ly cons t ruc t ed in
association with school or park facilities. Generally,
recreational fields served as the center for activities
such as football, baseball, and track. Given that these
fields were often erected for educational purposes,
they are typically located adjacent to schools. New
Deal playing fields are typically located on flat, level
g r o u n d , a n d a r e g e n e r a l l y l a r g e e n o u g h t o
accommodate a football field. Often times, stadium
bleachers were also constructed for the recreational
f i e ld. Bl e a che r s we r e gene r a l ly cons t ruc t ed wi th
reinforced concrete or stone. Usually, bleachers are
located on the sidelines.
Schools/Gymnasiums/Recreational Fields Survey Results
The site visit confirmed that two schools are extant in Greenup County. They are the Greenup
City School and the Fullerton School. Both of these remain in use for purposes other than
education. The Greenup City School has been converted into apartments and appears to be
in good condi t ion on the ext e r ior. The Ful l e r ton
School is currently being utilized as a nursing home.
The exterior appeared to be in excellent condition.
There is a concrete block addition on the east side of
the building that does not detract from the original
building design. The original building can still be
read from the exterior. The interior finish materials
h a v e b e e n c h a n g e d , b u t t h e o r i g i n a l f l o o r p l a n
appears to have been retained. Unfortunately, a full
investigation of the interior could not be conducted,
since it is a private nursing facility.
The WPA schools in Boyd County identified through
archival sources were the Cannonsburg High School, the New Normal School, and the Summit
School. The site visit confirmed that none of these schools remain extant. Based on historic
photographs, the Cannonsburg School was a one-story, brick masonry building with Colonial
Revival detailing. It had a gable roof and cupola, as well as a gable front portico entry with
columns. No historic images of the New Normal School or the Summit School have been
located at this time.
Ashland (Putnam) Stadium. Photo date unknown.
Fullerton School building, 2004.103
The WPA cons t ruc t ed the Fa i rvi ew Gym in Boyd
C o u n t y i n 1 9 3 8 . I t i s a s t o n e b u i l d i n g t h a t i s
rectangular in form with a gable roof. The Fairview
Gym is extant and is utilized by the Fairview High
S c h o o l a s a p r a c t i c e f a c i l i t y . T h e b u i l d i n g a n d
stonework appear to be in good condition, though
the or igina l window openings have be en cove r ed.
T h e s t a t u s o f t h e o r i g i n a l wi n d ow f r ami n g a n d
glazing is unknown. There are some cracks in the
stone masonry, though the mortar joints are in good
c o n d i t i o n . T h e i n t e r i o r o f t h e b u i l d i n g wa s
investigated and retains much of its original fabric.
The original hardwood floor is still intact. There is a
s t a g e a t o n e e n d t h a t i s n ow u s e d f o r e q u i pme n t
storage. The only other change was that a second
l eve l wa s added behind the s t age , though i t doe s
not show in the primary space of the gym.
The Putnam St adium in Ashl and i s loc a t ed a t the
George M. Ve r i ty Mi d d l e S c h o o l o n 2 9
S t r e e t .
Originally, the school was known as Putnam High
School. A field visit confirmed that the stadium is
extant and still in use. The poured concrete stadium
has two bleachers that run length of the football field.
T h e e x p o s e d s u p e r - s t r u c t u r e o f t h e s t a d i um
bleachers remains approximately 75 percent intact.
Some sections of the stadium’s understructure have
been enclosed with brick to create storage space. The
original brick masonry press box is situated on the
bleachers on the west side. The press box has been
a l t e r e d s omewh a t t h r o u g h a d d i t i o n o f a f r ame
section above the masonry building. The original
WPA ent r anc e ga t e and conc e s s ion a r e a ha s be en
replaced with a modern building that is located on
the south side. There has also been a set of bleachers
added to the south end of the football field.
T h e C a t t l e t t s b u rg E l eme n t a r y S c h o o l p l a y g r o u n d
and bleachers were constructed by the WPA to serve
as a formalized recreational area for students. The
site visit confirmed that this resource is no longer
extant. The area has been converted into a parking
lot and bus loading area.
Superstructure of Putnam Stadium, 2004.
Putnam Stadium, 2004.
Fairview Gymnasium (Boyd County), 2004.104
The WPA, CWA, KERA, and PWA were all involved
in cons t ruc t ing cour thous e s dur ing the New De a l
era. Courthouses are located in the county seat and
are almost always prominently sited in the central
b u s i n e s s d i s t r i c t . Ke n t u c k y c o u r t h o u s e d e s i g n
typically reflects elements of classical architecture
and forms, associating the town with the democratic
vi r tue s of anc i ent Gr e e c e and Rome . Embodying
justice and democratic values, courthouses are often
h i g h l y s ymb o l i c l a n dma r k s . New De a l a g e n c i e s
involved in the construction of courthouses followed
this same pattern of design and siting.
Ar c h i v a l r e c o r d s i n d i c a t e t h a t Gr e e n u p C o u n t y ’s
courthouse was constructed with WPA sponsorship.
C o u r t h o u s e s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y p o s s e s s a
monument a l qua l i ty expr e s s ing the impor t anc e of
the building to the county. Functioning as the center
of local government, courthouses are generally large
in s c a l e . Ar chi t e c tur a l ly, cour thous e s of the New
Deal era will generally have classical elements either
expressed in Art Deco or Colonial Revival styles.
Ma t e r i a l s us ed for New De a l e r a cour thous e s a r e
likely to be stone, brick, or poured concrete.
Courthouses Survey Results
The s i t e vi s i t conf i rmed tha t the Gr e enup County
C o u r t h o u s e i s e x t a n t . T h e two s t o r y s a n d s t o n e
b u i l d i n g wa s c o n s t r u c t e d a f t e r t h e e x i s t i n g
cour thous e wa s de s t royed in the 1937 f lood. The
b u i l d i n g i s s i t e d t o t h e s o u t h o f t h e c o u r t h o u s e
square and the main entrance faces the west. The
structure, which sits upon a large raised basement
floor, utilizes rusticated square cut stones that are
set in a regular coursing pattern. The courthouse is
rectangular in form with a flat roof.
T h e c o u r t h o u s e d e s i g n a p p e a r s t o b e i n f l u e n c e d
mo s t l y b y b o t h Ar t De c o s t y l e , t h o u g h C l a s s i c a l
elements such as pediments and engaged pilasters
Greenup County Courthouse. Photo date unknown.
Interior of Greenup County Courthouse. Photo date
unknown. (GP Collection).
Greenup County Courthouse, 2004.105
a r e e x p r e s s e d i n r e l i e f . T h e b u i l d i n g h a s mi n ima l o r n ame n t a t i o n s u g g e s t i n g a mo d e r n
interpretation of these classical elements. A later addition sits behind the building on the east
side but does not impact the integrity of the original courthouse.
The WPA, PWA, KERA, CWA, and NYA constructed
p u b l i c b u i l d i n g s , l i k e l i b r a r i e s . L i b r a r i e s we r e
thought to be important buildings that expressed a
community’s cultural aspirations. Therefore, they
t y p i c a l l y e x p r e s s mo n ume n t a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , i n
spite of their usual diminutive size.
Ba s ed upon WPA a r chiva l sour c e s , the r e wa s one
library constructed in the survey area, The Ashland
Since there was no set pattern for libraries built during the New Deal, it is possible to encounter
a variety of forms and styles for this property type. It is likely, however, that the libraries
constructed during the New Deal era will possess a monumental character. This does not
mean that they are necessarily large in scale. Since the inherent nature of a library is to function
as a public facility, there will be a formal quality found in the building design.
Libraries Survey Results
The Ashland Library was constructed in 1936. The library was located on the edge of Central
Park in the 1700 block of Central Avenue. The one-story gable-roofed building was constructed
with limestone masonry in a random coursing pattern. The library’s form was rectangular
and it rested upon a raised basement. The architectural style employed was Colonial Revival
with classical detailing, including a columned porch and cupola.
Survey work revealed that the library building was demolished in the late 1970s to make
space for a new library facility.
Ashland Public Library, circa 1935. (GP Collection).106
Public amenities for parks were developed during
the New Deal era. Agencies such as CWA, WPA,
PWA, KE RA, a n d NYA we r e a l l i n v o l v e d i n
c o n s t r u c t i n g p u b l i c s p a c e f o r o u t d o o r r e c r e a t i o n
s u c h a s swimmi n g p o o l s , b a l l f i e l d s , a n d t e n n i s
cour t s .
Only one WPA recreational resource was uncovered
in the archives. Central Park Pool in Ashland was
developed through use of WPA labor.
Park Facilities Typology
There is no set design for park facilities since there
is a wide range of uses. In the case of the Lily Pond,
the park was already established and the pond was
added. The original pond was bounded by native
sandstone and finished with a cement cap, and the
WPA bathhouse was also constructed of sandstone.
The addition of new recreational facilities and structures, like picnic tables, tennis courts, and
pools, to established parks is a common New Deal work project. New Deal agencies were
also responsible for the development of entirely new parks as well.
Park Facilities Survey Results
The Central Park Pool in Ashland, locally
known as the Lily Pond, and the adjacent
bath house were constructed by the WPA
in 1935. Central Park itself is a 47-acre
facility that dates to 1900. The size of the
Lily Pond is one acre. Originally, it was
d e s i g n e d t o b e t h e s h a p e o f Ke n t u c k y ,
however, it had to be altered due to the
p r e s e n c e o f t r e e r o o t s . T h e p o n d wa s
f i l l e d - i n d u r i n g t h e 1 9 5 0 s , b u t wa s
restored approximately seven years ago.
The original walls and form of the pond
are still intact, though, the concrete cap
has been altered. Three fountains were
also added when the pond was reopened.
“This view shows the Central Park Pool, constructed
with native sandstone and finished with a cement
cap. Photographed March 25, 1936.” (Boyd Co.).
Central Park Pool, known as the Lily Pond, 2004.107
The Cent r a l Pa rk ba th hous e i s bui l t of
native sandstone, and displays the WPA
vernacular style. The one-story building.
h a s a h i p p e d r o o f a n d i s r e c t a n g u l a r i n
form. There is very little ornamentation
on the structure, except for recessed panels
on the b u i l d i n g ’ s s i d e wa l l s . T h e b a t h
h o u s e h a s b e e n r emo d e l e d t o
accommodate modern restroom facilities.
The original roof covering has also been
replaced with a standing seam metal roof.
The PWA and the WPA we r e both i n v o l v e d wi t h t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f p r i s o n s a n d p r i s o n
inf r a s t ruc tur e .
The Federal Corrections Institute (FCI) Ashland Unit was originally built by the PWA in 1938
with roads and sewer connections constructed by the WPA. The prison is located in the town
of Summit, five miles from Ashland on the junction of Route 716. This prison was originally
intended to house 600 short-term male offenders from the region. It was one of nine correctional
institutions constructed during 1936-1939 within the first decade of the establishment of the
Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Prison Facilities Typology
The FCI Ashland facility was constructed in 1938-1939, and was
o n e o f two f a c i l i t i e s u t i l i z i n g t h e “ t e l e p h o n e p o l e ” d e s i g n
concept. The original site consisted of 22 buildings and support
facilities all within the FCI security compound. The complex
included: an Administration Building, Hospital and Detention
Building, four Cell Houses (C through F), four Dormitory Units
(JA, JB, KA, KB), a Dining and Recreation Building, a Mechanical
Services Building, a Steam Tunnel, a Commissary, a Laundry, a
Power House, three Guard Towers (#1 - #3), a Garage, a Root
Cellar, and Sally Port Officer’s Station. The latter is the main
and only entrance gate into the prison facility. It is a controlled
entrance where employees, prisoners, and supplies are brought
onto the grounds
The original complex has a coherent design and use of material,
among all structures. A majority of the buildings are red brick
v e n e e r wi t h r e i n f o r c e d c o n c r e t e s t r u c t u r a l s y s t ems . Th e
complex’s buildings range from one-to-three stories in height.
The a r chi t e c tur a l s tyl e employed throughout the compl ex i s
Central Park Bath House, 2004.
“In the classic telephone-pole design,
the long connecting corridor bisects
the housing units at right angles. All
deviations from this, such as that at
the new Graterford Prison, in Pennsylvania, have lost rather than gained
from the changes made. This telephone pole layout, with modifications
and variations, has superseded the
earlier overall designs for prisons
used in the Pennsylvania and Auburn
type of structures, and provides the
basis of the most modern and satisfactory prison structures of our day,
such as the Federal penitentiaries at
Lewisburg and Terre Haute, the U.S.
Army disciplinary barracks at Camp
Cooke, California, and the Riker's
Island city prison in New York City.”
( h t t p : / / w w w . n o t f r i s c o . c o m /
pr edominant ly Ar t De co/Mode rne , expr e s s ed in the br i ck de t a i l ing of the corbe l l ing and
quoins, as well as the continuous horizontal concrete bands. Further accentuating the Art
De co/Mode rne s tyl e , mos t of the bui ldings have f l a t roof s . The admini s t r a t ion bui lding,
however, also has some Colonial Revival elements that include a hipped roof and cupola.
There is also one Quonset hut building in the complex that is used as the Mechanical Services
b u i l d i n g .
The adj a c ent Fede r a l Ci r c l e hous ing t r a c t ha s e l even dwe l l ings on the s i t e . The s e f r ame
buildings are one-and-a-half stories in height with clapboard siding and gable roofs. The
buildings resemble the Sublimity Forest Community dwelling in form and style. (See Section
Five, the New Deal and Housing).
Prison Facilities Survey Results
The f i e ld vi s i t conf i rmed tha t the FCI Ashl and f a c i l i ty i s ext ant and i s be ing ut i l i z ed for
incarcerations. Since the original construction of the complex, numerous other buildings have
been added to the 40-acres of prison grounds. There is also a tract of housing located to the
east of the prison complex on Federal Circle that serves as prison staff housing. Due to the
security measures, no photography and no interior access was permitted.
Greenup and Boyd Counties both sponsored road construction
during the New Deal. There were five major roads constructed
by the WPA in Greenup County and five major roads in Boyd
County. These roads link communities to one another and are
o f t e n n ame d a f t e r a t own o r g e o g r a p h i c f e a t u r e . T h e i r
construction made road travel more efficient and modern among
rur a l communi t i e s .
WPA roads would have been graded and drained then covered
with crushed stone from a local quarry, handmade concrete, a
macadamized surface, or left surfaced with dirt. Due to changing
t e c h n o l o g y, t h e s e r o a d s h a v e b e e n r e s u r f a c e d wi t h a s p h a l t ,
t h o u g h i t a p p e a r s t h a t i n s ome i n s t a n c e s t h e o r i g i n a l r o a d
alignments remain intact