The Licking Riverside Historic District is a historic district in Covington, Kentucky, that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its boundaries are Fourth Street to the north, Scott Street & Eighth Street to the south, and the Licking River. For most of its existence up to the 21st century, the district has been spared the destruction of many of its historic buildings. Bungalow/Craftsman, Second Empire, and Italianate are the primary architectural styles of the neighborhood.
When the original boundary of Covington was extended past Sixth Street, making the area of Licking Riverside one of the first boundary increases that Covington would make. The brick “fashionable” female academy, operated by Doctor William Orr, was one of the first buildings constructed in the area, built around 1846. Today, it is known as the Rugby, and serves as condominiums.
Another prominent house in the district is the Grant House, which was once owned by the parents of United States President Ulysses S. Grant. Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson Grant lived in Covington from 1859 to 1873. It is a Greek Revival Mansard-roofed double house with geometric recessed entryways and well-proportioned openings. Many similarly built homes are nearby.
U.S. Grant visited his parents’ home in Covington on numerous occasions. It was here in Covington, in 1861, after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, that Grant received an invitation from the Governor of Illinois to command a regiment. In June 1861, he was retired from military service, but accepted the commission. This began his meteoric rise to fame during the Civil War.
Starting in January 1862, General Grant sent his family to live with his parents just before he invaded Western Kentucky and Tennessee with his troops. His father’s home in Covington would play host for more than a year to Ulysses’s wife, Julia, and his children. His children attended the Clayton School, known as the Clayton-Bullock House, run by Mary Clayton Bullock, three houses South of the Grant House. Other visitors to the house included John A. Rawlins, William Sherman, and George Stoneman. Grant’s last visit to the home was a week-long visit to Covington in 1872 while he was President of the United States.
An additional house of importance is the house of Richard P. Ernst, a former United States Senator. It is believed to be built by Samuel Hannaford, a noted Cincinnati architect who made the Cincinnati Music Hall. The most prominent feature of the house is the jerkin-headed/hooded gables. The house of Richard’s brother John P. Ernst is also in the district.
Other prominent buildings in the district include the American Red Cross building (Franco-Italianate), Baker-Hunt Foundation (Second Empire), Covington Art Club (Italianate with a lacy castiron veranda), First United Methodist Church (High Victorian Gothic), and the LaSalette Academy. The building for the Covington Ladies Home (1894), formerly known as Home for Aged and Indigent Women, is another prominent building in the area and reflects the community minded people who lived in Covington and surrounding areas.
“LickingRiverside” by Photo by Greg Hume (Greg5030) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LickingRiverside.jpg#mediaviewer/File:LickingRiverside.jpg