Riverside Drive Historic District

The Riverside Drive Historic District is located at the west bank of the confluence of the Licking River and the Ohio River in Covington, Kentucky, directly across from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The most prominent building in the district is the Carneal House, named for pioneer of Covington, Thomas Carneal.  It is considered one of the oldest and most significant structures built in Northern Kentucky.  The house was built for Aaron Gano in 1815 and sold to William Wright Southgate in 1825.

It is a two-story brick home with arched windows.  It was built in an Italianate-Federalist style, and somewhat influenced by the late-Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. In 1835, Southgate had added the large west wing to the residence for his extended family of thirteen children.

The Daniel Carter Beard House, at 322. E. Third St, was also built in the Federalist style. The two-story brick building, built in 1821, is the second oldest building built in Kenton County, Kentucky.  It was later named for the founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Daniel Carter Beard, who was an artist, author, illustrator and naturalist, whose father, artist James Henry Beard, rented it during the civil war.  The Beard House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1965.

The Amos Shinkle Townhouse is located at 215 Garrard St.  It was built in 1854, and was once the residence of Covington businessman Amos Shinkle.  Shinkle was a major contributor in the early development of Covington. He helped to organize a bank, built steamboats, and brought gas lighting to the community. Most importantly, he was the leader behind the completion of the Roebling Suspension Bridge completed in 1866.

The Porter-Fallis-Lovell House, c. 1852, at 412 E. Second St. used to be an Italian Villa that faced the Ohio River.  It is the largest single-family home in the Covington area. The house was originally owned by Cincinnati merchant Thomas Porter, who sold the domicile to Daniel James Fallis in 1861. For over 100 years, it would remain in the hands of descendants of the Fallis family.  In its later years it was known as the Mimosa House, a museum operated by Mimosa Restoration Inc.  It remained a museum until 1998, when the building was sold and completely restored.  It is now a private residence.

The Laidley House, at the corner of Second and Kennedy Streets was built in 1865. The mansion is named for Frederick Alexander Laidley, a prominent businessman and steamboat magnate. The beautiful 3-story mansion is surrounded by a stone wall topped with an iron fence, and the property is entered through a decorative gate. The structure itself is orange-red brick with a white Kentucky limestone foundation and massive front steps; the entrance, corners, and windows are trimmed with limestone.  Atop the house is an octagonal cupola sitting on a colorful slate-faced mansard roof.

The last Laidley in the house was Louise Laidley More, who died in 1972. Shortly after, the house was sold at auction to an interim absentee owner who planned on turning it into luxury apartments. By that time, the house was in disrepair. In 1975, it was purchased by James and Frances Allen who have restored the structure.

Other prominent buildings in the district include the Kennedy-Southgate House, built in 1847 at 124 Garrard St. Nancy Kennedy, daughter of early settler Thomas Kennedy, lived here until her death in 1904 at age 93. The Greek Revival home, whose porch and iron fence foundation are its most interesting features, were made of limestone mined in Dayton, Ohio.

The Shinkle Row Houses, c. 1880, at 125 Garrard St. is one of seven attached row houses built by Amos Shinkle.  These Renaissance Revival townhouses with pediment doorways and cornice window heads reflect much of the region’s residential architecture of the period, which tends to be Italianate. These Second Street units are called Shinkle Row and are believed to have housed Suspension Bridge workers.

The Henshaw-Rawdon House, c. 1880, at 412 Riverside Drive is well over a century old. Its porches and balconies watch over the Ohio River while boats and barges slowly pass by with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop. It was once the home of Edward and M.D. Rawdon, who were local merchants in the community.


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