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Stephen Foster FiveStar to be replaced

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New gas station will have 1800s design

By Randy Patrick

Newcomb Oil will demolish its FiveStar convenience store and fuel station at 122 E. Stephen Foster Ave. and replace it with a larger store that will more closely mirror the early 1800s look of that part of the Bardstown Historic District.

The plan includes a two-story brick building along the sidewalk on Stephen Foster, with entrance to the store and the fuel pumps behind it, on the Second Street side of the property.

Part of the plan for the property includes moving the old house the company owns beside the store to 107 W. John Muir Ave. In 2016, the city’s Historic Review Board and City Council denied the company’s request to demolish the house on the grounds of economic hardship for the company.

Although the new site for the house won’t be in the Historic District, the company has agreed to adhere to the National Register of Historic Places standards for the little house built in the 1930s, which is protected in part because of its unusual architectural style. It will also take “the utmost care” in moving the house, which will be used as a residential structure.

Jim Willett, an attorney for Newcomb Oil, said the company does not yet have a timeline for demolishing and replacing the store and moving the house, but said it would probably be “sooner rather than later,” likely this spring or summer.

The council voted unanimously to accept the Historic Review Board’s recommendation that Newcomb’s requests be approved with conditions stipulated by the board.

The design of the building will be Flemish bond to match some of the other properties in the area that date from the early 19th century, and it will be covered with Yorkshire brick. Pewter shingles will be used on the roof of the building as well as the gas pump canopy.

RaShae Jennings, the city’s historic preservation coordinator, said the Kentucky Heritage Council has approved the design as “historically appropriate,” and it also commended the city for its work with the company to make sure the project met the state and federal guidelines.

Councilman Joe Buckman said he liked the proposal but would like to see more detailed drawings of the building.

“I’d like to be assured myself that this is going to be the type of building that Bardstown expects to see on that lot,” he said.

Jennings said she would work with Daniel Newcomb of Newcomb Oil to get the finalized drawings, so that when someone looks at the building, “You don’t see new construction. I want you to essentially see an 1800s Federal building. We are going to make sure that that happens.”

“The whole part of this is to basically allow the building to seem like it’s a variation through time, that it flows right through the historical context of that street and the other buildings that are present there.”

St. Joseph Church to get new entrance

During the City Council meeting, several other recommendations by the Historic Review Board were approved, including proposals by the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville to change the landscaping and alter the parking lot for the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral at 310 W. Stephen Foster Ave.

Mayor Dick Heaton said that moving the entrance to the parking lot farther north on Fifth Street would help ease the traffic issues for the area there and at the nearby intersection of Stephen Foster and Cathedral Manor and improve safety for schoolchildren there.

St. Joseph School adjoins the cathedral property, Bethlehem High School is across the street on Cathedral Manor, and Bardstown City Schools are on Fifth Street and Templin Avenue.