The goal of the Historic Preservation Office is to protect Covington’s history as it is shown through the built environment and educate the community about Covington’s history. Covington’s historic buildings, monuments, neighborhoods, public squares and landscapes help in defining our community. They remind us of what previous generations of residents have built and accomplished while inspiring us to continue the work of creating good places in our city for ourselves and future generations.

Covington is a Certified Local Government. Jointly administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service, Kentucky's Certified Local Government Program is a local, state, and federal partnership that promotes historic preservation planning and protection of prehistoric and historic resources at the local level. 

One of Covington’s defining characteristics is a deep appreciation and celebration of its abundance of historically preserved properties, maintained by a community of residents and business owners. Covington was listed among the Top 50 places to Buy a Historic Home by This Old House. Covington has the second highest number of properties listed in the National Register of Historic places in Kentucky and most of these are within our historic residential neighborhoods.

Historic Preservation Overlay Zones

Covington has seven Historic Preservation Overlay (HPO) Zones, defined by the City of Covington’s Zoning Ordinance as an area intended to preserve structures, buildings, appurtenances, and places that are of basic and vital importance for the development of the culture, because of their association with history; because of their unique architectural style and scale, including color, proportions, form, and architectural details; or because of their being a part of or related to a square, park, or area of cultural, historical, or architectural importance to the city.

Not to be confused with National Register Historic Districts, of which Covington has seventeen along with numerous individual listings, the Historic Preservation Overlay Zones are adopted by ordinance and include enforcement of compliance with the Historic Covington Design Guidelines for historic properties.


Please note, a Certificate of Appropriateness is required for all exterior alterations and tree removals for properties within the City’s Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (shown on the map above) as well as within the  12th Street Corridor Redevelopment Plan Area (shown on the map below).

The Historic Preservation Office also manages the following services and programs:

Other Historic Preservation Resources

Historic Preservation Videos