Willow Run Rain Garden and Interpretive Park

In order to widen the 12th Street Corridor in Covington, Kentucky, it became necessary to demolish several buildings along the south side of 12th Street. Architectural and archaeological studies were conducted to document the properties, assess effects on historic resources, and identify mitigation measures. Gray & Pape assisted the City of Covington, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and the Northern Kentucky Sanitation District (SD1) with historical research and by guiding the interpretive process. In addition, the firm facilitated a meeting to gather public input regarding Covington’s history and the interpretive plan, created interpretive text, designed five interpretive panels, and provided oversight of the fabrication and location for the National Park Service-type panels. These panels highlight the architectural, cultural, and brewery history of 12th Street, as well as archaeological discoveries and the new green infrastructure of this innovative public place.

As a result of the mitigation plan, interpretive displays and benches, planter boxes, and a rain garden and biofiltration swale now line 12th Street where the demolished residential structures once stood. The name of the park was chosen to celebrate the history of Willow Run Creek, which previously existed where Interstate 75/71 highway now runs, and was an important part of the city’s history, particularly the community’s brewery history.


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